Hell Raiser: Taylor Harvey!

At 22, Taylor ‘Hellraiser’ Harvey has had more than one fight for each of his not-so-tender years. Training out of Paul Madigan’s Mad X gym on the Sunshine Coast, he has recently been making his mark on some of the best welterweights in the business, both domestic and international. He recently spoke to JARROD BOYLE about his exploits, his successes and what the future has in-store. 

IK: Hi Taylor, what have you been up to lately?

TH: Training! I have a lot on my plate, so preparation has been intense. I’m fighting in early October in Hong Kong, and shortly after I’ll be fighting back in Australia.

IK: Can you tell us a bit about how you became involved in Muay Thai?

TH: School friends, mainly. At high school, I wasn’t too focused on learning. Most of my energies went into fighting. I started training when I was fifteen and had my first fight about a year later, when I’d left school. I was originally training at Woombye, Paul (Madigan’s) first gym, and when the time came, I moved to Mad X.

IK: What is training at Mad X like?

TH: Fantastic – wouldn’t want to train anywhere else. It’s a combination of the boys in the gym, the pad-holders, and the general vibe.

IK: What do you think of Paul Madigan’s training methods and coaching style?

TH: There’s a really strong contrast between Paul and Tyson (Murphy) as pad-holders, and between them, we get the best coaching and conditioning we could ask for. Paul has a really unorthodox way of using techniques in combination – you get such a variety of punches, kicks, knees and elbows all at once. Tyson is more traditionally Thai, where more emphasis is placed on power. Both Western and Thai methods together makes an awesome combination for power and fitness. We tend to spar pretty hard, too. That way, when fight night comes, it’s basically just sparring without shin guards.

IK: Can you tell us a bit about your training regimen?

TH: I train six days a week. I have two training sessions a day, except for Saturdays, which is only one session in the morning. An average session is a ten minute skip, followed by a stretch, followed by a four kilometre run. Afterwards, I do 5 rounds on pads. I follow that up with between 3 to 5 rounds on the heavy bag. I tend to vary my rounds on the heavy bag depending on how I’m feeling. I finish up with a conditioning circuit of push ups, squats and sit ups.

Wednesday night and Saturday morning is sparring, so it’s a run and then straight into it for eight to ten rounds. Tuesday and Thursday mornings are weights sessions. I do a lot of exercises for my chest, shoulders and biceps. The emphasis is on building punching power and strength in the grapple.   

IK: Would you consider changing weight divisions if the opportunity was there?

I went up to 70kg to fight Jason Lea.

IK: You lost by decision to Jason at ‘Battle Colossal VI’. How did you feel that fight went? It was a close call, what did you think of the decision?

TH: It was a hard fight, but I felt that I did enough to win. The promoter approached me after the fight and said the same. I think it may have been a case of ‘home-town’ bias, but the fight was close, that’s for sure.

IK: What were your most recent fights?

I beat Clayton Collier by unanimous decision on 23rd of May on ‘Eruption’. I was pretty nervous – he was much more experienced and had fought a number of big names, including Masato. I landed some big punches on him in the second round and by the fourth, it felt like it was going my way. After that, I fought the Cambodian, Chey Kosil. I won that by split decision. The leg kicks he landed in the first round really hurt, so I put some big hands on him. I got cut with an elbow, but Tyson stopped the bleeding and I managed to stay ahead. I ended up with 8 staples at the front of my hairline. Tyson’s a good cutman – I think he could stop any amount of bleeding! I was really happy with my fight against Auth Phoutang, the current S1 champ. He’d had 300 fights for 270 wins. I walked into an elbow which busted my nose in the fourth, but I won on split points.

IK: Who do you think has been your toughest fight so far?

Auth Phoutang. His kicks turned my ribs black!

IK: When and where is your next fight?

TH: I’m fighting on the tenth of October in Hong Kong on the ‘Libogen Fight Night’. My opponent is yet to be decided. After that, it’ll be the next Evolution show in Queensland.

IK: You’ve fought in Hong Kong and Thailand. How did it compare to fighting in Oz? Did you feel a bit like an outsider?

TH: Hong Kong is great – the crowd really gets behind you. The Hong Kong fighters don’t really have the power, but they’re always fit. Thailand was awesome, but I didn’t have a good night when I fought there – I walked straight into a head kick. I’d love to fight in Thailand again and I’ll go back, first chance I get.

IK: Have you trained over in Thailand, too?

TH: I trained in Bangkok at the Samorocod gym, and in Pattaya at Bulldog gym. This was 2 years ago, when I went with Paul on a gym trip.

IK: Who would you really like to fight next?

TH: Anyone. The best! Billy ‘The Kid’ Degoumois, from the K6 gym in Queensland. He’s currently holding the WMC Australian title. If the opportunity to fight K1 Max came up, I’d jump on it. I look at Mike Zambidis. He went up in weight to do it. I look at him and think, ‘Why can’t I’?   

IK: What are your long-term plans with fighting?

TH: Fight the best to be the best. I’ve got at least another 10 years.

IK: Are you into UFC/MMA at all?

TH: No. The wrestling doesn’t really appeal to me.

IK: Would you consider fighting in the cage?

TH: Nope. If the money was there I’d consider it, but not as a substitute for Thai boxing.

IK: How did you get your nick name?

TH: Don’t know exactly, the guys at the gym kind of put it out there. The more they said it, the more it stuck.

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