Interview of JULIE KITCHEN by Serge TREFEU (2012)
Serge TREFEU: Hello Julie, thank for the interview, you are English, can you say to us in what region you increased and in your district there were gyms of boxing?
JULIE KITCHEN: My husband taught classes in our local town of Penzance in Cornwall, but this was the only local place to train back then
Do you arise from fighter’s family?
My grandad was the English Welterweight western boxing champion Tommy Barrett and my father used to boxing for the armed forces…
Before making of the boxing you have make the other sports?
I held the high jump record in school but never thought of myself as a sportswoman
How did you discover the boxing?
I took up Muaythai to keep fit only, I had no intention to compete but once I had a go I really enjoyed the competition side
Who attracted you in the muay thai?
The atmosphere in the Touchgloves gym attracts lots of people to try out the sport, most people who try one lesson seem to be infected with the Muaythai bug
In what gym you began the boxing?
I have always trained at Touchgloves under the supervision of my husband, but I try and visit gyms whilst on holiday…
You remember your very first fight?
Yes ,I wasn’t nervous back then before fights and enjoyed every moment, my coach was worried about me so I had to wear headguard and 2 x sets of shinguards which looked ridiculous
What is what there are fighters or female fighters who influenced you at the beginning of your career, fighters whose style you liked?
I never really took much notice of who was around back then as I never imagined I would go far, but a good friend of mine Karen Ousey had 3 World titles and a very aggressive style and I really looked up to her
How much did you make of fights so far, victory and defeat?
When I first started my record was 4 wins 5 losses. This was when I gave up work and trained full time as a Pro fighter.
My current fight record is 55 fights, 46 wins, 8 loss, and 1 no contest
You gained a lot of fight by K.O.
I have stopped 6 opponents, but I have never won by KO, its strange because I am a strong striker, perhaps god made me to be able to punish my opponents and clock up more rounds instead of stopping them. As long as keep winning I’m not worried about how the win comes…
What technique you most like placing in a fight?
I love the clinch, knee and elbow as I feel this is what separates Muaythai as a stand up striking sport
What was your hardest fight in your career?
I think styles make fights Karen Lynch and Claire Haigh brought out the best in me.
I like to have a hard fight, If I fight someone who is not testing me, then I drop down a level which makes my coach/husband angry
Your best memory of boxing?
I enjoy fighting for the Muaythai Premier League as I love the travel and the media attention behind it.
My Los Angeles debut was amazing as the American fans really supported me.
I also won a WPMF World title on the Kings birthday in Thailand, there was so many people there watching and it was an honour to represent my chosen sport in the country it originated and in front of the King !
And the worst?
I think the worst part of my career is the way I have been politically wronged by WBC, I was so proud to finally win the belt after 4 years of trying to fight for one and I worked very hard to win it, but I have been mis-treated by them ever since and it has upset me deeply
One of the rare fighters to have beaten you it is the great Dutch champion Germaine de Randamie (Lose in points for world champion IKKC’s title), you would like to fight her again, and that think you of this fightergirl?
When I fought Germaine it was my goal to try and survive the rounds as the whole world wrote me off and I wanted to prove myself. I really enjoyed the fight and we helped raise money for the schools of Jamaica which meant a lot to me.
Now I know she couldn’t beat me and she knows too and that’s why she will not grant me a rematch.
On a personal level, I thought that Germaine was one of the nicest people I have met in the sport and I wont let anything change my opinion of that – rematch or no rematch.
What fighter set you most difficulty among all those that you met?
In my first 6 fights, I found everyone difficult to fight as I only used my hand techniques on my opponents and was afraid to kick and clinch in my fights.
I love these techniques now so no-one really worries me at the moment…
What is that there is a fighter whom you would like to fight in particular?
Gina Carano, I have never met her and by no means dislike her, but she is where I want to be with regard to film/television so I would like to show the whole world that I am a better fighter and can make it too.
Having said that I admire the fact that she has proved that women can make it big in the movies as a fighter which gives us all hope in a very male dominated sport…
You often fought abroad, in Thailand, in the United States, in Holland, what is what you have already fought in France or in Japan?
I have never fought in Japan or France but I love travelling so would love to visit these countries for a fight or seminar at some point !
In Thailand you fought how many times?
I have fought 3 x in Thailand, all for World titles under full rules and won every time
You fought in the King’s Birthday in Bangkok, what memory you keep of this big event?
This memory will always remain with me. It was an amazing opportunity thanks to Mr Thakoon for letting me represent the amazing Sasiprapa gym in Bangkok !
What are the Thai lady champions that you met?
I have only met Nong Nang Pinimpa who I fought for the WBC World title but I would be keen to meet more when I return to Thailand
That think you of lady Thai boxer?
All Thai people are amazing and friendly. The thai female have only started to develop properly over the last 5 years so they will create some strong females soon. I would like to meet Nong Toon the lady boy boxer as I watched the film and find her very interesting as a person
You like fighting with elbows?
Yes, elbow fights are the best, it makes a fight a thinkers game and risky which is very exciting
You have already trained in several camps in Thailand, you can say to us in what camps you were to train?
As mentioned before Sasiprapa, Fairtex are my favourites, but I also really like Juns in Samui and also I have trained at Sor Vorapin and was treated really well
What difference there is for you to train in Thailand and train in England?
In Thailand, I don’t have housework and general day to day chores, so I can concentrate hard on my training, also the Thai trainers are always laughing, joking and create a great buzz. In my own gym I teach as well as train so I don’t enjoy training as it is work related (and I am getting older now), we do a lot more combination and fitness work so its very tiring, but if I go away to train for example last year I spent 4 days at a gym called Lumpini Crawley and I really enjoyed it. I guess I am happy in most gyms as long as I am trained very hard…
Besides your world champions’ titles, you won how much international title?
I held the Golden Belt European, IMKO European and the WIKBA Intercontinental titles as well as 7 British and an English title
Of what title you are most proud?
Every title means the same to me as every title has involved hard graft and sacrifice, every title has a story attached to it so I can pass these stories to my next generations which is important
In what category you fights today?
I only compete at 63.5kg now in the Superlightweight as I am approaching the final stages of my fighting career
You fight only in Muay Thai or have you already fought in the other forms of boxing?
I have fought K1 style, Full Contact Kickboxing and Thaiboxing (no elbow) but Muaythai is no1 !
In England what is that there are many events of muay thai with female fights?
England has some of the worlds best female fighters, without a doubt. If there was a World team event England would be amazing as a female team
Female muay thai is developed well in England?
Yes, the new breed of fighters are strong and have great skills, balance and timing.
We have another strong female in our gym who will compete internationally this year called Lucy Payne (20yrs old). She is my prodigy and has already clocked up 15 wins already !
You think that female Muay Thai is represented well in the world, at the level of the media especially?
No, I think the females are treated unfairly, but opportunities like the Muaythai Premier League which have involved a womens category are helping things a lot.
I think female Muaythai needs another separate organization like the WIKBA used to run.
The WBC started to represent females but it has only turned out to be a financial gain for them, they have only 4 female world champions and none of us feature on their champions page or in their magazine dedicated to WBC Muaythai…
What are for you today the best female fighters world in your category?
I think Valentina Schevchenko is the person most likely to cause me problems, not because she is better, but her style is gritty and unorthodox and involves lots of throws. She has had 500 fights, when it happens it will be an interesting outcome but not a good spectator fight. Another upcoming fighter Amanda Kelly is making waves in my division although she can fight lighter as can Claire Haigh who always gives a great account of herself and really enjoys the sport
Have you already faced a French lady champion?
Not yet, but I would like to
Do you know current French femal fighters or of before?
I spent time with Angelique Pitiot in Los Angeles, she was very nice and had an amazing physique, she lost to Valentina but only on a split decision so made a very account of herself. All countries have produced great fighters over the years and there is definitely more to come !
What are your next fight for 2012 and against who?
My next fight is against Aleide Lawant from Holland when I will defend my WPMF Top King World Title. I was in a 4 woman tournament under k1 style rules recently, but didn’t make the final because of a foul in the first round where an accidental head butt caused me a huge cut. Aleide went on to win, but wanted to prove herself against me and was disappointed that it didn’t happen, obviously I need to prove that I would have won so we have agreed to fight on March 11th in England. I really respect Aleide for wanting this fight and I wish there were more females who wanted to take the rocky road to no1 rather than dodge opponents and use politics to gain success
In what gyms you train at present? Who is your coach and which are your sparring partner?
My husband Nathan is my coach, my sparring partners vary but are mostly male as they are naturally stronger, hit harder and are difficult to move around in the clinch which strengthens my movements
You give lessons also?
Yes. I teach private lessons in the day and classes at night. I also enjoy teaching seminars worldwide and I am currently planning a tour of the USA to promote my online app
Physically you are a very charming lady fighter, what is that you have already had the opportunity to make photography sessions for magazines?
Thank you. I have modelled for wedding magazines and made front cover, I have a great photographer called Adam Gibbard who has taken some amazing shots of me over the years. I am lucky to have stayed in shape being 34 and having twins, but Muaythai training is the best to stay in shape !
The boxing is a violent sport, the face is often marked during a career of boxing, you think that the modelling and the boxing it is compatible?
Not really, I have been cut twice now and both scars are noticable
You have two daughters, would wish you a day when they made of the boxing?
Both Amber and Allaya are already competing and hold a string of titles between them,
They are the best in the UK at their weights and have just won a gold medal and 2 silvers in the IFMA Amateur games. We are both very proud of them
Your husband is a fighter also?
Nathan has fought a few times, but didn’t enjoy it very much, he still trains though
You want to add anything?
I would just like to thank everyone who has helped me on my journey and I hope that I can inspire other women to do well in Muaythai. I would also like to thank my athlete management Breathe Unity and diet/weights trainer Jan Czerwinski
Thank you for having answered this interview and CHOOKDEE for your fights
Julie Kitchen is the first woman to gain 13 world champions’ titles in four different categories, it is a unique record. It is at present even one of the best world in her category. These fights are always intense and of technical high qualities. Kitchen is a relentless of the training, in 34 years she always has a phenomenal physical condition!
Height: 5 ft 10 inches
Number of fights: 55. 46 wins. 8 loss. 1 no contest
Title: 13 times World Muaythai Champion. 2 Times European Champion. Intercontinental Champion. 7 Times British Champion
Team: Touchgloves uk
Website : www.touchgloves.co.uk