Kickboxing: Rae at his fittest for contests

Girish Rae does not like to do things by halves.

In fact, he likes to double his workload.

The 31-year-old Dunedin kickboxer will fight in Auckland's Extreme F1 Muay Thai today, and a fortnight later will return to compete in the Oceania super eight-man elimination series.

If Rae wins today, he will pocket $1000 and get an audition for a reality kickboxing show in Korea next year. If he wins the elimination series, he will qualify for an intercontinental tournament and collect $8000.

Rae said he was confident of performing well. His main goal was to win the elimination series but he would be holding nothing back in his F1 fight.

He said fighting in two promotions in as many weeks was not an issue.

Initially, the F1 was meant to be an eight-man competition, and he was the fittest he had ever been.

"Stitches only take seven days to heal."

He said the only thing that would stop him fighting in the super eight was if he got knocked out in his first fight.

"That has not happened in any of my 40 fights and I don't expect it now," Rae said.

It will be the first time Rae has fought since a tournament in October last year, when in the space of six weeks he shed 12kg. That weight loss proved too much when he lost his semifinal bout.

The man he will fight today, Edwin Samy, lost the final of that series, but beat the man who won it, Joe Hopkins, a few months later.

"He is arguably the best 72kg fighter in the country so I can't look past that," Rae said.

Rae has gradually shed about 9kg for his first fight. He will then add 3kg for the 75kg Oceania series.

Oceania promoter Phillip Lam said he picked Rae because he wanted a South Island fighter who had the talent to win the series.

Fighting out of SportsLab gym and his own FI-G Muay Thai gym, Rae has been training two or three times a day, six days a week, in a combination of pads and bag work mixed with cardio.

By adjusting his running style to running on the balls of his feet, he has been able to run more slowly but for longer periods and without pain for up to 15km a day.

After 30 amateur fights, Rae turned professional in 2005 and spent about three years in Thailand, where he won 32 of his 38 fights.

As well as his professional record of 33 wins from 40 fights, he won 25 amateur fights and a bronze medal at the world Muay Thai championships in 2007.

Last year, Rae, who goes by the ring name "Honey Badger", was elected as the Oceania representative on the World Muay Thai Council.

All fights are scheduled for five 3min rounds.

Muay Thai is also known as Thai kickboxing. Opponents can punch, knee, kick and elbow while both fighters are standing.