Bradley Traynor: My toughest opponent is myself

In a sport where fighters often have short careers due to injuries or commitments outside the ring, to amass a record of 59 fights is nothing short of impressive. That’s where the number currently sits for the Brisbane-based muay thai fighter Bradley Traynor (32-26-1) as he prepares for fight number 60 and beyond.

The current World Boxing Council (WBC) Australian Cruiserweight Muay Thai champion, Traynor is as driven and determined as a fighter with a quarter of his fight record. Comfortable fighting anywhere from 79kg up to 87kg and taking fights in both muay thai and boxing, he is a fighter who jumps at the opportunity to get in there and challenge himself against the very best.

Training out of the Corporate Box gym in Lutwyche, Queensland and now under the guidance of former champion Shannon ‘Shaggy’ King, he has fought some of the toughest names across Australia. Looking at his wins and losses, it would be fair to say that there have not been many easy fights across his professional career and Traynor is not one to shy away from the challenging results.

“Most of my losses are my own fault, underprepared both physically and mentally. Looking back I’ve had some wars, but my toughest opponent is myself” Traynor told Fight News Australia.

His last muay thai fight was in April at Destiny Muay Thai 10 against the fast-rising David Pennimpede. A back and forth contest over five rounds, Pennimpede was able to nudge home a split points decision and take home the belt. In a close fight where he says he wasn’t at his best, Traynor is determined to correct that mark on his record sooner rather than later.

“I’ve been chasing the Pennimpede rematch and that will be my focus until it’s matched”.

“He is an impressive fighter and unreal talent. Very tough and powerful. His camp knows the circumstances around that fight and all I have to say on that is that I deserve that rematch at my 100 per cent”.

Before a rematch with Pennimpede eventuates, Traynor will need to have his sights firmly set on the Melbourne Pavillion as he travels south to take on the highly-rated Aaron Goodson (17-3) at Powerplay 38 this coming Saturday.

Coming off a dominant win at Powerplay 37 in which he stopped his opponent with a devastating knockout in the third round, Goodson will be a tough test despite the experience advantage going the way of Traynor. The two were originally slated to fight in May before Traynor had to withdraw late due to illness.

When looking for clues in this fight to try and pick the outcome, it could be said that on paper the K1 style will favour Goodson who has almost always fought exclusively under this ruleset. Traynor isn’t phased though and is looking forward to a change in rules that should bring out the best in him.

“I actually really enjoy fighting K1. It suits my style as I feel it’s a lot busier and a more aggressive style of fighting”.

While there is a respect for what he is due to face across the ring on Saturday night, Traynor and his team remained focused on the strategies they have put in place in the leadup to the highly anticipated bout.

“We always stick to my gameplan and never focus too much on the opponent’s style. I like to fight my game and stick to that. I never give my opponent’s any more energy than they deserve”.

While not having fought muay thai since April, Traynor only weeks ago fought at the Melbourne Pavillion in a boxing fight against talented cruiserweight Benjamin Kelleher, dropping a points decision over four rounds.

With a handful of boxing fights behind him this year, a full-time transition could be on the cards once he fulfils a promise he made to his late trainer, Aaron ‘Azzatron’ Smith, who passed away in November 2016.

“I love to fight and am constantly looking to improve myself. Maybe one day I’ll take boxing seriously, but I promised Azzatron a world title in muay thai and that’s the goal at the moment”.

Not content with just chasing success in the ring, Traynor is also determined to make a difference in the local community and has recently come on board as an ambassador for the charity fight promotion, the Quandamooka Cup.

Setup to raise money in the fight against depression and suicide, Traynor is one of many high-level Australian fighters to begin working with the organisation that has already raised $31,000 in just two events, with more planned over the next year.

“It gives us a chance to fight and spread awareness of such a heartbreaking reality we face in this world. Having previously struggled myself, this cause hits hard. We not only have to spread awareness and support, we also have to teach people that they are in control of their lives and where it goes”.

“We want to help people face the tough times and questions that they feel they can’t do alone. I’m truly passionate about this and will offer my help and time to anyone that is lost or struggling. We want them to know there is a whole lifetime ahead of them”.

With a clear focus on what he wants to achieve inside and outside the ring, Traynor is determined to leave his mark on the Australian fight community both now and in the future.

“My end goal is to look back and hopefully leave a legacy behind through my fights and through those that I help and teach. I’m just trying to be the best I can be”.

Powerplay 38 takes place this Saturday at the Melbourne Pavillion and features an eight-fight card headlined by Geelong’s Chris Bradford taking on New Zealander Jordan Maroroa in a heavyweight showdown.

Powerplay 38

As a former pro/am Muaythai fighter, current trainer and fresh BJJ White Belt my life revolves around all things concerning the ‘hurt business’. If it involves punches, kicks, knees and elbows than I’m interested! On the side I’m a self-confessed Melbourne Victory tragic and marketing professional by day.