Kingston native Christian Mauceri is making a name for himself in the world of Muay Thai, a physical combat sport with centuries of history in Thailand. And on Friday, Nov. 21, Mauceri will face off for the first time against someone who grew up immersed in the sport.
Colloquially known as the “art of eight limbs” because of the combined use of various parts of the arms and legs, Muay Thai requires tremendous conditioning and endurance. So does gymnastics, which is what Mauceri was focused on before finding his way to Muay Thai. Though it may seem a curious choice on the surface, Mauceri said it was a natural move.
“The transition from gymnastics to Muay Thai was an easy one,” he said. “I was already strong, athletic, and in great shape from my time as a gymnast. The athleticism I developed helped me pick up Muay Thai extremely fast. Gymnastics teaches you to coordinate movement better than anything else I’ve done, which carries over well to any sport.”
Mauceri grew up in Kingston, went to Harry L. Edson Elementary and J. Watson Bailey Middle School and is a 2009 graduate of Kingston High School. And while he became a gymnast and trained locally, don’t look for any hardscrabble streets-of-the-city stories to explain why Mauceri got into the fight game.
“I wouldn’t say anything about growing up in Kingston helped shape me as a fighter,” he said. “I didn’t get into many fights growing up, and I didn’t even have much interest in combat sports when I was younger.”
But there’s something there, which not only attracted Mauceri to the sport but also drives him to excel in the ring. He was a perfect 6-0 before falling by TKO (doctor stoppage) to Kevin Ross in the third round in May. Ross caught Mauceri on the forehead with an elbow, a bloody injury that saw fairly heavy blood flow during the match and resulted in 25 stitches. Though the blood made it difficult to see, it also helped focus Mauceri even more.
“The fight against Ross was a fun one,” Mauceri said. “The cut forces me to push the pace and try to finish the fight. I knew knocking him out would be my only chance of winning since the doctor was likely to stop the fight at any time. Despite losing that fight. I got a chance to put on an exciting fight and show that there was no way I could be made to give up, and I think I gained a lot of fans from that performance.”
If it sounds rough, it is. And that’s worth remembering if you ever get the urge to step into the ring.