Kickboxing Z Interview: Steven “The Warman” Wright

KickboxingZ caught up with Steven “The Warman” Wright to get his thoughts on some of the match ups at Friday’s GLORY 63 event, and current happenings in the sport of kickboxing.

Wright is the head coach at War Room MMA in Fort Worth, Texas, and has worked with MMA fighters on their stand-up skills.

A diehard kickboxing fan, Wright is also host of the Steven “The Warman” Wright’s Kickfighting Show, and works for GLORY in the USA in the Talent Operations Department.

Read on for Warman’s thoughts on the upcoming debut of hyped American prospect Bekah Irwin, the GLORY 63 main event between Petch and Serhii Adamchuk, and also the big Enfusion bout next month between Tayfun Ozcan and Endy Semeleer.

Bekah Irwin is making her pro debut after winning medals in IFMA competition. For those of us who haven’t seen her, what are your thoughts on her upcoming pro debut? Does she seem like a real prospect?

Bekah has all the tools to excel in kickboxing. She has length, skill, and a very sneaky head kick. She will be tested by Stephanie Skinner who has experience and is very tough. Bekah is legit, but winning at the Glory stage will confirm it even more. Skinner will bring the best out of her for sure.

Omari Boyd has worked his way up to number eight in the -77 kg weight category (welterweight). He’s coming off a win against Alan Scheinson. He’ll be facing Troy Jones, who had a phenomenal stoppage win against Casey Greene in his last outing. Any thoughts on that match up?

Great fight in every way. Omari Boyd has the pressure, power boxing game and a mean switch kick. Where as Troy has a Thai rhythm that he finds his clean boxing in space, while finding kicks in both stances. No matter the outcome, both are capable of beating international opposition and you will hear of them for time to come.

Got to ask you about the main event between Petch and Serhii Adamchuk. Petch seems at the top of his game right now, after a great performance in defeating Robin van Roosmalen. Put on the trainer’s hat for a minute. If you were training Adamchuk, what kind of game plan would you put together to beat a guy like Petchpanomrung?

In my role in the Glory Talent Ops division, I stay away from game plans for one guy against the other. I will say that the first time they fought in Glory it was close. Adamchuck has natural patience and he can wait on the counter and for a clean shot. Petch has improved boxing to go along with his already devastating kick game and fight IQ. Now that both guys have already experienced each others skill, both open up the offense in the main event.

I know you read some of the social media stuff or forums, as most of us who write or podcast do. Some of our fellow fans have complained about the quality of the Glory shows in America, and been critical of the skill level of American fighters. What are your thoughts on the current state of American kickboxing?

Just keep watching. I think people have their mind made up that if it isn’t an international fight, then its not good. But thanks to the IFMA team, Asa Ten Pow, Troy Jones, Omari Boyd, Bekah Irwin, the list goes on. All of them have faced international opposition and have won. If the audience keeps watching, they will continue to see talents from the US rise to the occasion against international opposition. It will happen for sure.

Moving along, huge match up in the Netherlands next month with Tayfun Ozcan facing Endy Semeleer at another promotion’s event on February 23. Two of the best guys in the world between 70 and 75 kg. How do you see that fight playing out?

So this isn’t Glory so I can answer however I want lol. Ozcan vs Semeleer is a match up between the two best talents on the Enfusion roster. Semeleer is such a good athlete and he has beautiful kickboxing when he gets into his flow. Mean while, Ozcan has insane skill and counter timing. He is the best in the organization right now. I do not think the fight will be as good as Ozcan/Jaraya I or Jaraya/Ben Moh, but it will be an excellent fight. Enfusion always has great cards in February.

K-1 is putting together a phenomenal K’Festa 2 event. GLORY is planning 14 shows. Daniel Austin of FightBox recently interviewed the KOK president and KOK is planning a heavyweight tournament. DSF in Poland announced their own heavyweight tournament. ONE Super Series is planning a grand prix with Yodsanklai and Souwer and others.

Seems like it’s going to be a big year for the sport of kickboxing?

Every Year I do a Year in KickFighting Highlight with the best kickboxing and Muay Thai action for the year. Every Year the video gets longer because there are so many more fights. We are slowly moving away from the kickboxing is dead era to the kickboxing is everywhere era. As an early fan, we would wait for the big kickboxing event every two months and then talk about it on the forums. Now there are great shows weekly.

Is there anything else you’d like to say or anyone you’d like to thank? Where can fans find the Warman to check out your social media or podcast?

I want to say God Bless and thanks for following the sport I love. Going to websites like this and watching fights keep the sport I love alive. Find me on instagram and twitter at @steventhewarman.

Also check out my podcast. Steven “The Warman” Wright’s Kickfighting podcast. Enter Warman Kickfighting Show into the iTunes search engine or go to the blog.

God Bless and I hope all is well

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