As reported by Rich DePreta of The Stamford Advocate (originally published on www.stamfordadvocate.com 8:56 pm, Friday, July 14, 2017)
STAMFORD — It isn’t about ego. It isn’t about vanity.
For Geoffrey Then, the motivation is only about career, pure and simple.
“My ultimate plan is to make a living at this full-time,” Then said. “I want to succeed in Muay Thai both fighting and coaching. I want to love what I do every day of my life.”
Opportunity is knocking for the 25-year-old Danbury resident. Then will battle Jafar Toshev of New York on a six-bout card of Muay Thai fighting on Friday, July 28 at 7 p.m. in the Fox Theater at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket.
The entire Muay Thai Lion Fight 37 promotion will be televised on AXS-TV Fights in the U.S. along with the Fights Network around the globe.
It will be the second professional Muay Thai bout for both Then and Toshev. The event will also serve as a trilogy for the combatants, who split their first two matches as amateurs.
“I believe our first amateur meeting was in 2009. We are both completely different people today,” Then said. “Professional Muay Thai is a different world. The commitment level necessary is incredible.”
Part of Then’s commitment to success means fighting through Route 7 rush hour traffic to Stamford so he can train nights with Omar Estevez at Estevez Muay Thai in Glenbrook. Estevez Muay Thai opened in March 2016.
“I’ve trained with Omar over the past three years,” Then said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to fight at Foxwoods. I’m pumped up. I’m definitely ready for the challenge.”
The bout between Then and Toshev will consist of five rounds of three minutes each. Then is expecting a rooting section of between 60 and 90 people at Foxwoods with more watching on TV.
Then also does some training and coaching at American Top Team gym in Danbury as well as at UFC Boxing in Norwalk.
Muay Thai fighting is recognized as an Olympic sport and is different than MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).
Muay Thai fighting began in the 16th Century in Thailand and loosely translates as “The Art of 8 Limbs.”
The fighting style involves the use of fists (with boxing gloves), elbows, knees and shins (feet). Muay Thai has six types of punches, eight elbow moves, nine kick styles, eight knee strikes and five foot thrusts to choose from.
“Muay Thai is about building optimum fitness. And you learn about defense to protect yourself,” Then said. “It’s much more active and passionate than just running miles or lifting weights.”
Then is 5-feet-6, 155 pounds with precious little fat on his frame. Toshev is 5-foot-10 with a longer reach.
“My work ethic is my drive. I will always work harder than my opponent,” said Then, who was 12-4 in Muay Thai amateur bouts. “Toshev will have a reach advantage. But I’m stronger.”
As with conventional boxing, Muay Thai has weight divisions. Then’s bout with Toshev is a lightweight division clash.
“I’m confident in Geoffrey’s chances because of his heart,” trainer Omar Estevez said. “Geoffrey has no quit in him. Every session, every workout is about giving 110 percent. Not many opponents can handle his aggressive approach. Geoffrey will do what is necessary for victory.”