Anthony Ford will pull double duty Friday. The 26-year-old Muay Thai fighter from the SoNo Athletic Club will fight Kevin Horowitz in a match at the Hall at St. Paul in New York. He'll also coach a young fighter. Andrew Gutman, a senior at Greenwich High School, has been working with a Ford for nearly a year. "He's make great progress,'' Ford says. "I'm looking forward to watching him fight."
Ford is also eager to mix it up with Horowitz in their 165-pound fight. Ford won his most recent fight, a majority decision over Omar Vega in December. He suffered a ruptured eardrum in that contest but has made a complete recovery. He has also been working with a new striking coach, Jason Strout, who has helped him pack more wallop behind his punches. "I can tell just by my practice partners,'' Ford says. "They're telling me to take it easy. Instead of moving like a Porsche, now it's more like a one-ton pickup. There's more weight behind my shots."
Muay Thai, developed in Thailand, is similar to kickboxing. Opponents can use knees and elbows to strike opponents. The 26-year-old Ford will get a shot at a title fight in the sport in April. "As long as I don't get too banged up,'' he says.
He's just as anxious to watch Gutman, 17, who already has a few fights under his belt. Ford believes Gutman has a bright future as a Muay Thai fighter. "He just works so hard at it,'' Ford says. "He's all heart. He's the prototypical New England kid. He puts so much time in and works so hard. He took some severe beatings, but he keeps working. We've had days where we think we won't see him again. But he keeps coming back."
Ford is working with six fighters at SoNo as he juggles a dual career as fighter and coach. "I still have a long way to go,'' Ford said. "I love coaching. I think it's important to share my knowledge with people who want to fight. I also think I'm a better fighter now that I've been coaching."
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