by Joseph Pimentel/AJPress
NEW YORK – After almost a two-year hiatus, FilAm Muay Thai Champion Christine Toledo stepped into the ring and bested opponent Emily Bearden by majority decision at the Roseland Ballroom in New York earlier this month.
“I was very nervous,” said Toledo after the fight to the Asian Journal. “It felt like I was starting all over again.”
The 30-year-old Las Vegas native and current World Kickboxing Association (WKA) US and the Muay Thai International Association (MTIA) World Title holder Toledo last fought in December 2006 against Rima Sidhu, winning by unanimous decision. Since her last fight, a series of promotional gaffes and a medical injury forced her to take an unwelcome break.
“It’s been about a year in a half (since I last fought),” said Toledo. “I felt like 18 months is too long of a lay off. There was ring rust and it showed.”
Despite being affected by the long layoff, Toledo won in a close five round match. Coming into the fight, the odds were against her. Toledo was not only facing her own personal shortcomings (ring rust), but she was also fighting a former WKA US Muay Thai Champion in Bearden and in her hometown of New York.
“Going to somebody’s hometown, it’s hard to take away a victory,” said Toledo, who admits that it took her three rounds before shaking off the ring rust. “For the most part, you really have to beat them convincingly to get the win. For me to get that victory is a big deal because everybody there was her crowd.”
Toledo said she won by taking away her opponent’s game plan. She knew that Bearden was an aggressive fighter hoping to control her by keeping the fight inside. Toledo said she neutralized Bearden’s aggressiveness by catching her in unsuspecting leg sweeps.
“She likes to be untouchable and keeps her opponents away but she wasn’t able to do it with me,” added Toledo.
The win brings Toledo’s record to 12 wins, 2 losses with 4 KO’s. Toledo said the fight with
Bearden was a good precursor to a more difficult match up with current British Muay Thai Champion Ruth Ashdown.
Toledo will face Ashdown in a five round match at the Las Vegas Hilton on July 26.
“She beat the top people in the UK and Europe,” said Toledo of Ashdown. “[But] I think I have the right training and trainers to beat her.”