Daddy Kool: World Champion in Waiting

International Kickboxer Magazine, Jan/Feb 2012

Dane ‘Daddy Kool’ Beauchamp has cleared out all opposition in not one, but two separate weight divisions. JARROD BOYLE sits beside him on the bench and has a chat during the wait for his word title shot.

The irony of combat sports, indeed, the obscure fact that possibly separates them from all others, is that there is such a thing as ‘too good’. Dane ‘Daddy Kool’ Beauchamp had a record of fifty fights for forty-one wins when his career stalled. “I’ve been fighting for 11 years now. Because I’m a lightweight, for years I was deprived of fights. First at 52 kilos, and when I won by KO, people wouldn’t want to fight me. Nugget decided to invest in my talent, and started bringing out experienced Thais for me to fight.

“I was fighting at 57 kilograms, and I was the best at that weight. I held the WMC Australian title, and the WMC Intercontinental title. There simply weren’t any Aussies left. I was training every day and only getting 3 fights a year on Evolution. There was nowhere left to go; I was waiting for a world title. Three fights a year just isn’t enough. It’s not enough practice, or enough exposure to drum up local support. I felt like I was sacrificing everything, but not getting anywhere.

“I had been investing so much time in Thai boxing, other things in my life were suffering. So I took a break for 7 months.” Dane stayed active in the sport by helping out around his gym, the famous NTG. “I remember one night wrapping one of the boys’ hands before a fight and I thought to myself, “What am I doing? That should be me warming up and getting ready to go out.”

After some soul-searching, Dane felt he had come up with a solution. “I decided to go up in weight, to 61 kilos. That would open me up to more opponents and hopefully, at a bigger weight, it would make it easier for me to get a world title opportunity.” Going up in weight is much more serious proposition than making a few extra trips through the drive-through, however. “I’m not the biggest bloke, so it’s hard to put on weight. I managed the jump from 57 to 61 by focusing on pumping iron. I got a weights coach named Steven Spagg. He said that I had to pick up weights and eat eat eat! I don’t lose much to get to fight weight, so it’s relatively easy on my body.”

Once a fighter packs on the extra muscle, he has to ensure that it doesn’t take away the qualities that made him dangerous in the first place. For a lighter-weight fighter, those things are grounded in speed, footwork and technique.

“Soren had come back to NTG around this time, and was taking on more of a training role around the gym. As a fighter, he’s very much technique-driven and speed-oriented. Lots of defence.” I enthused what a wealth of knowledge Soren was, having interviewed him a few editions previous and Daddy was quick to chime in with his own observations. “I had no idea how famous he was. When we were in Thailand, we went to Lumpini to see Sanchai fight. On the way, the taxi driver recognised him, and that was one thing. But when we got there, even the main event fighters came to say hello! Right before they went out to fight – gloved-up and everything.”

Daddy had Soren to work him on the pads in his very Thai style, along with his traditional trainer, Nugget. “I’ve had harder pads sessions with Nugget than half of my fights. He always demands one hundred per-cent power and accuracy. It’s a great contrast.”

Dane’s first fight at the new weight was against Mitchell Seth on an Epic promotion, in Perth. “I don’t read the forums, but people were saying I was too small.” Dane’s response to his trainers was, “If I’m going up weight, chuck me in the deep end.” Mitchell Seth, an experienced campaigner, is based in Thailand. Dane finished the fight in the first round, breaking Seth’s arm, nose, and giving him 8 staples to go along with them. “He was a southpaw. A lot of people think you need to change your whole style, but my strategy was to punish his guard. I kick the legs a lot, to slow my opponents down. I thought he’d be expecting that, so I kicked high to throw him off. Nugget said that I had really hurt his arm, so then I started to use my hands. I dropped him with a punch and then cut him with an elbow.”

Dane’s first fight could only be described as a successful foray. That done, Beauchamp was slated to fight the more experienced Mark Sarracino. “Unfortunately, Mark had received a bad cut a week before and couldn’t fight. I had to take Glen Purvis from Sydney at the last minute. He was a young kid and he did his best, but I stopped him in the third with a right hand. He’ll be a major prospect in a couple of years. When we fought, he was really going for it. He has a huge ticker. Afterwards, I gave him my trophy out of respect.”

From there, it was a short trip to the top of the heap; Dane found himself fighting Flip Street on Evolution for the WMC Intercontinental Title. “I’d always wanted to fight Flip, but we were at different weights. We are good mates; whenever I see him we’d have a chat. He’s very skilful; I knew it would be a huge test for me, especially at that weight on a world level. He’s a legitimate world champ in that he has fought – and beaten – world class opponents.”

The fight didn’t start in the best way, Dane remembers. “Flip dropped me in the first with a right hand. I remember regaining my bearings by the end of the round. I probably would have won the second. I caught him with my right in the third and dropped him. He didn’t look particularly hurt, but I knew how heavy the punch was. Flip recovers well, so I knew I had to jump on him. I dropped him with an uppercut and he was down again. From there, there was no denying or concealing it. I managed to catch him again with an overhand right, and that was it. He was out for the count.”

Defeating a fighter of Street’s calibre is an enormous achievement. Ironically, it has put Beauchamp back where he started! “Flip was the best, so now I’m defending on Evolution. There’s no option but to fight for world title.

“I have been to Thailand and they offered a spot at Eminent Air, Soren’s former gym. I can bring my wife with me. As much as I’d love to do it, I’m obligated to family and work. There are other avenues in life where I don’t want to let people down. It would be selfish to just up and leave. There must be some way to make it work. I’ve done the work in 2 weight divisions. I’m not going to wait anymore; it’s time for a world title. I’m determined to make it work.”

Australian fight fans, determined to see the best and support their own, need to get behind him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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