YOKKAO 41 - 42 will be heading to Dublin, Ireland on 27 July for a stacked card of Muay Thai action. The double event will be headlined by the WBC Diamond title bout between Singdam and Craig Coakley. Another highly-anticipated matchup is the 63.5kg clash between Spencer and Stefan Korodi.
Fighting out of Dublin Combat Academy and now training out of PK Saenchai Gym in Bangkok, Korodi is a fighter to watch for. The Irish fighter won all of his last 4 fights in Thailand by way of knockout. We expect an explosive fight between Korodi and Spencer on 27 July.
We speak to Stefan ahead of his coming fight on YOKKAO 41:
YOKKAO (Y): Hi Stefan, can you introduce yourself?
Stefan (S): Hi, my real name is Istvan Korodi. I picked up Stefan because when I moved to Ireland, nobody was able to pronounce my name. I'm 25 years old with 14 pro fights: 13 wins, 1 loss and 5 KO's. I moved to Thailand this year and I'm living the fighters life. I'm making opportunity for myself and things are working even better than I dreamed.
Y: When did you start training Muay Thai? Why or how did you get into the sport?
S: I moved to Ireland from Romania five and a half years ago. Now most of the people I know in Ireland would call me Irish and that's why I'm fighting for Ireland. I started Muay Thai a few weeks after I arrived to Ireland. I always loved to fight. I always was in trouble from the start of play school till the day I moved to Ireland because of fights.
When I was around 13 years old, I watched a movie called Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior and that was the first time I heard of Thai boxing. The choreographed fights in the movie, I thought that it was the way you fight in real Muay Thai. I never went to any gym in Romania but the movie stuck in my head. After I moved to Ireland, I felt that I needed to do something. I always loved to fight so I joined, training 3 times a week for the first month then I started to go every day and after that, twice a day. Since then, I'm with the same people, Collie (YOKKAO Ireland promoter) and Craig (Coakley).
Y: Can you share with us about your first fight?
S: My first ever fight, I thought I'm the best and it's enough to just go in and throw punches and kicks. I was about 3 months into training and I thought I was a superstar or something. I also had a bet with my mum that if I lose, I won't fight or train again because she didn't like it at all back then.
I went in the ring and after the first round I was so tired that I couldn't keep my hands up. For 3 rounds, I was walking forward like a bull but my opponent just picked me apart. I wasn't hurt at all but I know that I lost. That was the worst feeling I ever felt. I was thinking after the fight that because of the bet with my mum, that it was the end of my fighting career.
The next morning when I talked with her, she cried and told me that she wanted me to continue to fight. Then I started crying and said, I'm going to do this properly and here I am.
Y: How would you describe your fighting style?
S: Before, I was just very aggressive and going forward all the time. I'm a lot more skilled now and more well-rounded. Fighting on the back foot, going forward, just staying in one place and let the other guy move, and clinching which I really like. So I can say that I can fight any way anywhere. But my favourite is still going forward, just that I do it a lot smarter.
Y: What do you think of your opponent, Spencer?
S: I have never meet him before but he looks to me that he gives respect to everyone which for me is very important and says a lot about a person's character. So I would say that it's a big chance that after the fight, we both make a new friend.
Y: You had a number of KO wins lately, same for Spencer. How do you think this fight is going to end?
S: I'm not looking for KO's but when a shot is there, I'm not holding myself back. My last 4 fights were all finished with KO's and all of my opponents went to sleep. I think this fight is going to end in an early KO or a late stoppage. We will find out on the 27th.
Y: What do you think are your chances of winning the fight?
S: I think I have more chances to win this fight than Spencer does. He has mostly fought smaller guys, being the taller bigger guy in the fight. It's not hard to look strong against somebody smaller and even to stop them with body shots. Of course, you don't get that many body shots stoppages if you don't have the power or the skills for it, so he has it for sure. But he never fought anyone like me who can take shots all day and keep going forward like a tank. 90% of the time, I fought bigger guys and I'm pretty sure some of them were hitting harder than Spencer. He would not be able to hurt me.
Y: How is your training coming along for the coming fight? How have you been preparing yourself for this fight?
S: I never train for a specific fight or opponent. I always train for myself to improve, and I always try to practice new things in new ways of fighting. This the way we been training from the very beginning and it works really well. When we fight, we fight the way we want, not the way that the opponents wants. This is more or less why I'm ready for everything and can adapt to any changes in the fight.
Y: How do you feel about fighting on a YOKKAO event?
S: I never fought on yokkao before so I dont really know how is going to feel. But Yokkao is the most eye catching for sure and I'm looking forward to step into the Yokkao ring.
Y: Anything you want to say to your fans in Ireland?
S: Just want to thank everyone for their support, it really means a lot. Everyone who got their ticket, buckle your seatbelt because it's going to be a night of fireworks and you won't get it anywhere else. For those who haven't gotten tickets yet, hurry up because you don't want to miss this one for sure!
Limited tickets for YOKKAO 41-42 are still available at: www.yokkao.com/yokkao-41-42-dublin.
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