Hamilton's top female kickboxer is on target to titles
Hamilton kickboxer Melody Downs came out on top in the only women's fight in a Muay Thai event last weekend - but felt like she had been hit by a car afterwards.
She fought off Natalia Teller in the 66kg category of Knees of Fury at the Hamilton YMCA on Saturday.
"After your fight you sort of feel like you've been hit by a car. During the fight you don't feel anything because of all the adrenaline and then afterwards you're suddenly limping and thinking ‘Oh my gosh, I'm hurting in the weirdest places'," she said.
"You put so much hard work into each fight and then nothing compares to the feeling of winning. I think the winning keeps you going."
The biggest name on the Knees of Fury fight card was heavyweight world champ Australian Andre "The Giant" Meunier, but other Australian fighters and up-and-coming New Zealanders were also on display.
Miss Downs said it was one of the best promotions she had been involved with in her six years practising the male-dominated sport of Muay Thai.
The Thai national sport is like boxing but allows for kicks and the use of knees and elbows, she said.
And she's not a stranger to success - her previous titles include TBA New Zealand welterweight in 2011 and the International Kickboxing Federation South Pacific title in 2012.
She planned to follow Saturday's success by contesting New Zealand titles this year, and hoped to work her way up to a future world title.