A CONFIDENT Kaelee Mallard says she is primed for her first shot at a national Muay Thai belt this weekend, declaring “the title is mine.”
The Swan View teenager will attempt to claim the Australian flyweight title from current champion, South Australian Rachel Kavanagh, when they fight this Saturday June 16 at Craigie Leisure Centre.
“I just want to use my push kicks and punch her in the face as much as I can,” Mallard said. “I feel excited. I feel confident because I’m feeling fit and ready.”
Mallard has a record of 9-4, with one knockout.
She trains out of the Kalamunda Kickboxing and Martial Arts dojo, where her coach is five-time world champion Bruce “Preacher” Macfie.
Macfie, who fought over 160 professional fights, said his charge was ready to “do some damage as an adult”.
“She’s been fighting as a junior, so now she’s coming up against more seasoned women, but I think she’s ready,” he said.
“She’s young and she’s fit. She can do everything I’ve taught her. She’s picked up things very easily.”
Mallard’s mentor Murray McKechnie secured her the title fight opportunity.
“She is an amazing young lady and a role model not only for young Indigenous girls but teens in general,” the KKB dojo owner said.
After a difficult upbringing in Carnarvon, Mallard moved to Perth and dedicated herself to martial arts at Kalamunda Kickboxing and Martial Arts after her older brother, Karell, died tragically two weeks before his 18th birthday.
She is now 18 herself and will say a prayer to her brother as part of her pre-fight ritual on Saturday night.
As is the custom in Muay Thai, the ring is “sealed” before the fight to prevent negative energy entering the arena.
The fighters each say a prayer, and Mallard prays to her brother. “I like to say I hope you’re here with me and looking over me,” she said.
After losing her brother, Mallard’s aunt took her to the Kalamunda dojo, where McKechnie fostered her growth, as he has for many young kids who are looking for guidance.