Full Thai: Tommy Murray

International Kickboxer Magazine, November/December 2011

Tommy Murray is that rarity; a Victorian fighter who specialises in Full Thai Rules. He holds a swag of titles, among them a couple of WMC belts. His biggest challenge-to-date will be when he fights Ben Mahoney in front of a home-town crowd in Shepparton, Victoria on September 10. Mahoney will be representing JWP’s Boonchu gym, possibly the most venerated Thaiboxing gym in the nation. Tommy gives JARROD BOYLE the rundown in the last days before the fight of his life.  

How old are you, Tommy?

I’m 21.

What does your record stand at?

I’ve had 14 fights for 11 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw.

What weight do you fight at?

I fight at 57 kilograms.

Do you hold any titles?

I’m the WKA Australian and WKA East Coast Title holder, which is under kickboxing rules, and three-time WMC Victorian champ.

How old were you when you started?

I was 15.

How did you become involved in the sport?

I started with a mate – we left footy and needed something else to do. I was going to  box, but there was no boxing gym in Shepparton. As a result, I started training in Muay Thai with Matt Reid.

How old were you when you started fighting?

My first fight was at 16, in Melbourne. It was an Ultimate show at the West End Nightclub. It was the first actual kickboxing fight I’d seen, and I was in it! I’d never even had an interclub semi-contact tournament. We were the 2nd fight on the night. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I took it as it came and gave it 100%. I won! Thai boxing is a lot harder than footy – especially because the training is harder. Enjoyed it a lot more, though.

Tell us about your gym and your trainer?

I moved to Melbourne to do an apprenticeship as an electrician. Now, I train at Invictus in Tullamarine. It’s 5 minutes away from home. Sometimes, I train a bit of BJJ; I think it’s good to do something a little different. I also do some straight boxing as well. If I have a Thai fight, then I go to Evolve or back to Shepparton and train at GV (Golburn Valley) Martial Arts, under Matt Reid. Matt has been a major influence – it’s Matt that got me started and really made fighting a passion.

How does it fit in with work?

It turns out that my boss is the owner of Invictus. He’s really good like that – he gives me time off work when I need it and lets me finish early to go to training. I also like it when I can drive up to Shepparton to train. It’s like being in Thailand; I don’t worry about work, I just go and do my thing.

What’s the major difference between training in Melbourne and training in Shepparton?

In Melbourne, when you go running, you have to watch out for cars! There are fewer people to train with in Shep, though. I get a much better range of sparring in Melbourne.

What’s your training regimen like?

I train every day and, coming up to a fight, twice a day. It’s pretty much the usual stuff; running, skipping, shadow, some rounds on the bag, then pads, sparring and grappling to finish up. I usually finish my sessions with some strength and conditioning training. This is generally a bit of plyometrics and some bodyweight exercises. In the morning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I also do some sprints, or a training session at ‘Full Contact Fitness’, which is a specialist gym in Tullamarine. It’s usually made up of a Crossfit session, or some Olympic lifting.

Do you prefer to fight Kickboxing rules, or Full Thai?

Thai Thai Thai!

Who are the fighters you look up to?

Definitely Sanchai. I met him at a seminar at Hammer’s Gym. He’s down to earth and funny, but an absolute freak in the ring.

Have you fought in Thailand?

I have fought twice in Thailand. It’s very laid-back. No big entrances from fighters.

What are your ambitions in the sport?

At the start of 2012, I’ll have an MMA fight. I want to give it a spin and try out my jiu-jitsu. After that, it’s pretty much just to fight as much as I can.

When is your next fight?

I’m fighting Ben Mahoney from Boonchu under Full Thai Rules on Matt Reid’s next show in Shepparton on September 10.


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