John Hutchinson [7(1)-2(0)-2] has swapped Buncrana for Bangkok as he looks to kick on in his professional career.
A return to the the ring saw Hutchinson fight twice in Birmingham in 2016, but now the Donegal middleweight has returned to the Thai island of Phuket to train as he has done frequently. However, this time Hutchinson will actually be partaking in professional prizefights on the Thai scene, the first of which is will take place before the month is out.
Ahead of the fight Hutchinson spoke to Irish-Boxing.com from his South East Asian paradise, and explained how “Thailand is my home now for the near future. I was invited over to Spain and England last year with class training, and I can’t thank my management team and MGM enough, but I could not settle back there. ”
“Phuket life ain’t the worst! As much as it was good in Spain and things, life is totally different out here, it just kept dragging me back! I’ve a great set up and I love the coaching and living out here, and with me keeping busy with fights it’s a bonus this year. I’ve been in Thailand for two and half nearly three years on and off now but I never had fight contacts or fights the last time so I’m buzzing now.”
It’s a different style of fighting than what most Irish boxers would be used to, and Hutchinson describes how “Thais are known for their serious toughness and fitness. Maybe the lack of top level boxing skill is because Muay Thai is there in the background. They’re complete machines though and they can punch – all you have to do is ask Bernard Dunne about that! They train for hours and hours on end in tough conditions out here. They’re thought to fight from a young age to raise money for their families, it’s the way of life for Thai people. They all have over 200 Muay Thai fights, I’ve massive respect for Thai people.”
“That said, good western-style boxing skills beats a stand up Thai style – you’ve just got to stay smart, box, get the rounds in, and don’t take a fight to fighter. That’s the plan for this fight, try get a nice six rounds in the bank.”
Outlining his plans for 2017, the 30 year old revealed that “I’ve three fights lined up all before April and, all going well with no cuts, things should be very busy this year out here fighting in Asia, Australia, and Singapore. I’m very thankful for MGM backing me in this move and getting me fights on the other side of the World. I’ll have great support going too. Bangkok will be flying the Irish colors, there’s a big crowd leaving the local Irish bar, Mad Mohally’s in Phuket it will be like home.”
“I’m set in a great way now, I’m coaching full time which is my passion. I couldn’t be happier than when I’m in the gym helping people. I’m being sponsored by world class gyms, MGM, Unit-27, Fighters Gym. I’m in a happy place now and settled, looking forward to 2017.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show