Lincoln born and bred kickboxer, Shawn Burton is gearing up for a showdown with France’s Bertand Fleuret, as they contend for the ISKA light welterweight title at Lincolnshire Showground on Saturday, November 10th.
Burton will be out for vengeance at the fight after losing to Bertand in Toulouse last year, meaning he lost out on the Commonwealth title.
The fight is being billed as “Repeat or Revenge” by promoters and Burton’s fight is the main attraction, due to his local connection. However, there are a number of bouts being fought that night.
Burton said: “It’s very exciting. I thought I’d have won the first fight to be fair as I felt I was in control of it, but a couple of errors on my behalf cost me the fight.
“I’ve moaned about it and said how I wanted the rematch. I’ve said how I think I can beat him if we fight again, so what better place to do it than in Lincoln.”
Burton’s big title fight in Toulouse was only attended by five of his own fans and he says that he can’t wait to fight Bertand on his own back door: “I always think when you’ve got the home advantage it does give you a huge boost having your family and friends there. Having it here [in Lincoln] when I’ll have 1,000 people supporting me is a big motivation.”
Burton’s preparation for the big fight next month is in full swing and he was keen to stress the dedication involved in training for combat sports like kickboxing. He said: “When people like me are fighting, it’s ten months without alcohol, no fatty foods, you’re up at 6AM doing your running and you’re training until 10PM at night.
“It’s not just a case of turning up on a Saturday night, having a punch up and then not getting arrested for it.”
Burton is keen to rid combat sports of the stigma which currently surrounds them, as he says that while there is a lot of discipline involved, “people still assume that there’s less talent involved in the sport than disciplines like football and rugby.”
He continued: “To be the best you really have to dedicate your life to the sport. It’s the same with anything you want to be good at. You’re at the gym all the time, you eat, drink and sleep kickboxing. When all your mates are going out on the town, you’re at home having an early night.
“The tactical side of the sport is important as, if you know what the other fighters like, you can have a gameplan. If you are against someone who likes to come forward or someone who likes to fight at range, you try and work on a plan to conquer that.”
Burton’s life has been dedicated to kickboxing for over a decade now. He owns the gym he trains in and really does live for kickboxing. However, he does admit that the non-stop life of a professional kickboxer has its advantages and disadvantages :“I suppose you do lose friends through it and it can be very difficult to maintain relationships through it all.
“But it’s the sport I love and I am lucky enough to be paid for the privilege and I get to travel the world so, to me, it is worth everything!”Tweet