Pacific Palisades kickboxing champion Baxter "One-Armed Bandit" Humby was back in the ring Friday night and had one of his most impressive victories by knocking out Switzerland's Zidov Domenik with a kick to the stomach one minute, 40 seconds into the first round in the MuayThai Premier League "Stars and Stripes" event at the Long Beach Pyramid. Born with only half of his right arm (hence the nickname), Humby improved his professional record to 40-8 with 14 knockouts while capturing the WMC junior middleweight intercontinental belt, his 17th title belt (including amateurs). The 38-year-old lives in the Highlands with his wife Sonja and 11-month-old daughter Mila. Patch interviewed Humby before Sunday night's victory party at Tivoli Cafe to get his thoughts on the fight, his future, and his sport.
Patch: Can you describe the knockout move and how you set it up?
Baxter Humby: It was a reverse side kick to the solar plexus. I set him up with the jab and earlier I'd cut him open with an elbow. I hit him as hard as I could and it sent him flying across the ring and into the ropes. If he hadn't tumbled into the bottom strand he would've landed on the judges' table. It was a perfect kick, right on the button, and I couldn't have landed a cleaner shot if I'd asked him to stand still right in front of me. You could say it was a good night at the office.
Patch: You're not known as a knockout guy. What was your mentality going into the fight?
Baxter Humby: I hadn't fought him before but I studied some tapes on him and the way he fights is tailor-made for my style because I move a lot whereas he's pretty stationary, so I can get angles on him. He's got a lot of knockouts and he was on The Contender in Asia, so he's pretty heavy-handed, but I noticed that he was vulnerable to the body and I've been training for that one technique. I was confident I would beat him and all the hard work paid off. I lost my last fight by a split decision, so I didn't want to leave this to chance. Just like Christmas... it's better to give than receive.
Patch: Do you think you're a better fighter now than you were, say, 10 years ago?
Baxter Humby: The weight range for this fight was 150-154 pounds and I weighed in at 151, so I was trim and fit. I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm more calm in the ring, more relaxed, I fight smarter and even though I'm 38 I haven't lost any speed or power. When I do, that's when I'll know it's time for me to call it a career. The one difference being older is that it takes longer to recover from injuries. That's why I stay in shape between fights.
Patch: You've always been an active champion. How soon do you want to fight again?
Baxter Humby: I'll fight anyone, anytime. I've always felt in order to be at the top of your game you have to stay active. I've been invited to fight in Ensenada (Baja California) in November or December. After that, the MuayThai Premiere League is having an event in Amsterdam in December or January. I'd like to do as much as I can over the next year or two. I'm very excited about this Premier League because it gets the best of the best from all over the world and brings them to one place.
Patch: Now that you have a family to support, how much longer do you want to fight?
Baxter Humby: I don't see myself fighting past 40, but I'd also like to be able to retire comfortably. I made a good chunk of change for this fight. The MuayThai Premier League is growing in popularity, it's getting TV exposure and as a result the prize money is increasing, so the sport is becoming more lucrative. It's hard to walk away from a big payday, but I don't want to stay around too long just for that because health is the most important thing. It'll depend on how I feel physically and mentally. I've been fortunate to have the success I've had without getting seriously hurt. I want to keep it that way. This was the kind of fight I like—in and out quick. My wife likes them that way, too.
Click here to watch an ESPN replay of Baxter Humby's devastating first-round KO Friday night.