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Celest has her eyes on the prize

Celest has her eyes on the prize

MUAY THAI: Phuket-based fighter Celest Muriel Hansen has vowed to give everything she possibly can in her final fight of the Fairtex Fight Road To ONE Thailand tournament tomorrow (Oct 29).

By Ben Tirebuck

Friday 28 October 2022, 10:00AM

The 28-year-old Australian comes up against Thai fighter Lomannee in the 52.2kg weight class at Bangkok’s Lumpinee Stadium in a fight that could very much change her life for the better.

Should she emerge victorious after the three-round bout then she will secure a professional six-fight contract worth US$100,000 (B3.7 million) with Asia powerhouse sports property ONE Championship.

It will be the culmination of an amazing journey that started at the famous Lumpinee Stadium with her first fight on Aug 13 against Phetsinin Sor Phuangthong, who Celest knocked to the ground twice before delivering a devastating TKO in round 2.

She then faced a sterner test in her semi-final clash against Duangdaonoi Looksaikongdin on Sept 17, once again at Lumpinee. Duangdaonoi controlled things in the first round but Celest stepped up her game in the second and had the better of proceedings by the final round, eventually emerging as the winner on a points decision at the end of the three-round contest.

Since then Celest has been training with a razor sharp focus at Phuket Singha Muaythai Gym in Chalong under the tutorship of coaches Kru Pat, Nantaporn Opor Nutcharas and Kru Nart.

“I’m feeling amazing going into the fight,” Celest told The Phuket News last Sunday (Oct 23). “I’ve been training so very hard for months now, harder than ever before. This tournament offers such a wonderful and unique opportunity that I want to do everything I possibly can to put myself in the best position to win. I am giving it everything I have.

“The training has been amazing and I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful team supporting me,” she added. “My coaching team of Kru Pat, Nantaporn Opor Nutcharas and Kru Nart have been incredible, continuing to push me to my maximum, which is what I need if I am to defeat Lomannee, who is a very tough opponent.

“I feel like I have developed so much on this journey through the tournament. Every fight camp I get stronger, more confident and learn so much about myself.

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“The tournament has been so long but it has been an amazing experience that I am so grateful for. I’m so excited for the last fight to come and feel ready.”

Keep on pushing’

Celest has played an integral role as part of a drive to change attitudes and open up opportunities for women in the sport. She made history at Lumpinee in November 2021 by becoming the first ever female Muay Thai athlete to set foot in its ring when she fought Kullanat Ornok after the authorities reversed their policy on women fighters, who were previously banned from competing at the venue.

It was a landmark moment that she is especially proud of.

“When I first started it was so hard,” she reflects. “Opportunites for women were limited and I felt like giving up. When I said I wanted to be the first woman to fight at Lumpinee Stadium people laughed at me and said that was never going to happen.

“However, I kept pushing, didn’t give up and all the hard work has paid off. And that’s the message I want to share with everyone – not to give up, to keep on pushing.

“I want to encourage everyone to find something they love and give it everything they have to achieve their dreams.”

Fairtex Fight Road To ONE Thailand can be viewed on Channel 7 HD (press 35), the ONE Super Mobile App or the via Fairtex Fight’s Facebook page. Celest’s fight is at 10am on Saturday, Oct 29.

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