On August 18th Julie Kitchen and Miriam Nakamoto will square off at Pala Casino in California under the WCK Muay Thai banner. The bout will be the biggest fight to take place in the history of women’s Muaythai. Julie Kitchen headed to California early to prepare for her fight and was kind enough to take some time from her schedule to answer a few questions about the upcoming fight against Miriam Nakamoto.
MTA: Julie you have a big fight with Miriam Nakamoto on August 18th, how is the training going?
Julie: I have been training up to 4 times per day for this fight, so the extra intensity means I am only 2kg over weight now so I’m very happy. I feel great, my strength and fitness levels are top level and I never leave the gym disappointed. I have enlisted the help of a former Raja Stadium no. 1 Prathet Sor Thanikul in addition to my usual team of sparring partners and pad holders-- also Yan Czerwinski who monitors my strength and diet and mind coach Vinny Shoreman. I’m flying out to Los Angeles on August 1st so I can climatize and train right up to the event--I’m so excited.
MTA: There is a lot of interest behind this fight; it is easily the biggest women's Muaythai fight to ever happen. How important is this fight to you?
Julie: Every bout is important to me and has been since day one but I am extremely honoured to be part of this particular event with so many great female fighters competing and for it to be billed as the best female fight ever is very special to me. I honestly believe that this bout will live up to expectations and will be talked about for a long time after. Muaythai enthusiasts in the UK think female fights are boring and I intend, with the help of a game opponent to silence the critics and shatter their ignorance.
MTA: Some people say Miriam has too much power, and that she is too aggressive for you. What are you thoughts when you read or hear things like this?
Julie: I never underestimate anybody but power and aggression doesn’t scare me at all.
4 years ago everybody said Germaine would finish me in a round because of her amazing aggression and power but I could have done another 5 rounds that night and I wasn’t wobbled once, although Germaine definitely hit very hard, she was evidently knackered out trying to KO me. I think I am often underestimated because I am not a knockout finisher where as Miriam is known for her big finishes. I respect that, but sometimes it slips peoples minds that I have won more fights in a row over the past 4 years at world level than Miriam has in her novice-amateur and pro career altogether.
MTA: You will also be teaching seminars while you are in California, what can fans who attend your seminars expect?
Julie: We are both very excited about teaching seminars whilst in the U.S.A. We have received great feedback from our UK seminars and promise that the students will have fun whilst learning some different techniques alongside an epic fitness “beasting.” I really look forward to meeting everybody, the students will also have the chance to measure the power of their striking via the Herman Digital Trainer supplied to Touchgloves Gym by Pro Sport Technology.
MTA: Do you have a set date for the seminars so that fans can make arrangements to go, and if so where can they be found?
Julie: The first is at the OC Jiu Jitsu and MMA Gym in Lake Forest on august 4th from 1-3:30pm. August 7th @ USKO in Riverside 6pm. August 11th @ IMB in Imperial Beach (not sure of time). There is one more to be confirmed.
MTA: What can fans expect on August 18th when you step into the ring with Miriam?
Julie: Fans can expect a “fireworks display” of Muaythai from 2 outstanding athletes who are battling to be the best in the world. I know we will take each other to the limits with no warm up glove tapping round and definitely no “letting off” in the 5th round. We both have something to prove as Miriam is undefeated and I hate losing. All I hope for is a non-controversial fight/decision and to prove that I am no. 1 once again.
MTA: There had been some back and forth talking between Miriam and yourself. Is there genuinely bad blood or is it just part of hyping up the fight?
Julie: It feels strange for me to say as in over 45 different opponents Miriam is the first to get on my nerves with her constant arrogance and rude character. I personally don’t feel that rudeness places well in Muaythai as everybody shows respect, but it has aided my focus and ability to train harder than normal. It definitely isn’t hype but if it creates interest in the fight then maybe that’s a good thing.
MTA: We look forward to the upcoming fight, any words for your supporters and fans?
Julie: I know its difficult to support a fighter coming into your country to take on your champion, but I feel on top of the world when I visit the U.S.A. and my supporters welcomed me last time I fought in Los Angeles soil so I don’t consider this fight to be a battle of countries as I have more American fans than British. This is a battle for women’s Muaythai and for me to silence critics around the world. I would like to thank my sponsors Gems Bolitho School, “Bad Breed”, Pro Sport Technology (Andy Shapcot) and Rewkachu as well as my Cornish sponsors Gmo Cars, Sullivan’s Diner and Kidz Playzone, also a massive thanks to those who have helped raise money for the flights and accommodations which has allowed me to come out earlier than planned.