Kick­boxer looks to con­tinue win­ning ways

Mike (Iron Fist) Do­herty seek­ing more gold at in­ter­na­tional Muay Thai com­pe­ti­tion in Sara­jevo

The Peterborough Examiner - - SPORTS - MIKE DAVIES mike.davies @pe­ter­bor­ough­daily.com

This year has been the high­light of Mike (Iron Fist) Do­herty’s Muay Thai ca­reer and he’s hop­ing for more later this month.

The 30-year-old owner of Do­hjo Muay Thai and Fit­ness on Char­lotte Street al­ready has a gold medal from one in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion and he leaves Oct. 19 for Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina in search of an­other.

Do­herty won the 165-pound am­a­teur di­vi­sion at the In­ter­na­tional kick-box­ing Fed­er­a­tion IKF World Clas­sic Am­a­teur Muay Thai/World kick­box­ing Cham­pi­onships in Or­lando, Fla., from Aug. 2 to 4.

Next up he’ll com­pete at the World As­so­ci­a­tion of kick-box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tions (WAKO) World Muay Thai Cham­pi­onships in Sara­jevo from Oct. 19 to 27.

Do­herty’s year started by win­ning the WAKO Cana­dian Muay Thai cham­pi­onship with two wins in Ni­a­gara Falls in March. It earned him a spot on Team Canada for the WAKO worlds.

In May, he trav­elled to Thai­land with his coach Steve Lee and train­ing part­ner Jake Macken­zie, both from Bow­manville’s Re­demp­tion Muay Thai where Do­herty trains two to three days a week. He went sim­ply to train in the birth­place of Muay Thai while Macken­zie fought on a card there. The owner of the gym he was train­ing in of­fered Do­herty a fight on the card.

“I thought about it for half a day and then said, ‘All right. Let’s do it.’ I ended up jump­ing in the ring the next day with a guy with 200 fights, which I guess is com­mon in Thai­land but is not over here. I ended up win­ning by knock­out.”

Do­herty con­sid­ers it a big­ger ac­com­plish­ment than win­ning the IKF tour­na­ment.

“I was more scared for that one be­cause I didn’t re­ally train for it and I wasn’t pre­pared,” he said.

“There were no weigh-ins and the guy I fought was 30 pounds heav­ier than me. There are kind of no rules over there. That one meant the most to me this year be­cause of the level of the fighter I fought and beat­ing my fears go­ing in there.”

Spurred on with grow­ing con­fi­dence he trav­elled with his Re­demp­tion team­mates to par­tic­i­pate in the IKF event in Florida. Two wins later, a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion fol­lowed by a first-round knock­out, crowned him tour­na­ment cham­pion.

“My goal at the start of the year was to stay busy and see where It took me,” Do­herty said.

“It’s a pretty renowned tour­na­ment so I signed up. Af­ter Thai­land I hopped into an­other train­ing camp. I took a cou­ple of weeks off be­tween camps but ba­si­cally all year I’ve been in train­ing camps.”

The WAKO tour­na­ment will be his tough­est test.

“This is the big one,” he said. “I’ve been told I could have up to 10 fights to get to the gold medal. There are quite a few peo­ple in the di­vi­sion. I’m just stay­ing ready and will take it as it comes.”

Do­herty said he avoids putting ex­pec­ta­tions on him­self.

“I don’t re­ally al­low my­self to need any­thing. I try to keep things al­most like a min­i­mal­ist so I don’t re­ally have any­thing to lose go­ing in there,” he said.

“Then I can just fo­cus on my per­for­mance the most. I just re­ally want to go and make my­self happy and do my best. Hope­fully it in­spires some of the peo­ple in my gym to see they could fight for Canada one day, too.”

On top of ev­ery­thing, he teaches al­most 90 ath­letes at his gym.

“I’m still a stu­dent of the sport my­self and I’m get­ting bet­ter. I just try to teach what I know and give back,” Do­herty said.

He has a num­ber of spon­sors who helped him fundraise to cover his ex­penses. They in­clude The Pos­ture Clinic, The Brain Ther­apy Clinic, Keltic Tank and Me­ter Ltd., B. Pear­son Con­tract­ing, Kawartha Ad­ven­ture Rentals, Ran­dom Acts of Green, Peter­bor­ough SUP, Tele­care Dis­tress Cen­tre of Peter­bor­ough, ALP Tool and Tech­nol­ogy, Five Coun­ties Chil­dren’s Cen­tre, The Twisted Wheel, Nite Owl Cre­ative, Fresh Drams Made in Spain and House Fit­ness.

CLIF­FORD SKARSTEDT EX­AM­INER

Mike Do­herty trains Tues­day for the World As­so­ci­a­tion of Kick­box­ing Or­ga­ni­za­tions’ World Cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment later this month in Bos­nia.

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