Jade Fleetwood preparing for her Muay Thai fight in Lower Hutt. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

JAKE BELESKI

jake.beleski@age.co.nz

Five weeks of hard work paid off for Masterton’s Jade Fleetwood when she stepped back into the ring for her Muay Thai bout on Saturday night.

Fleetwood beat Tania Barnett by unanimous decision at Razor Production’s Honour 14 event at a sold-out Avalon Studios in Lower Hutt.

The bout was fought under full Muay Thai rules.

Her last fight was a narrow points decision loss to Waimatao Tai in Hamilton last month, and trainer Zane Hopman said she had worked incredibly hard to turn that result around.

“From a trainer’s point of view, it was brilliant.

“Everything she had come away from Hamilton knowing she needed to do, she came to the gym straight after to work on those things and we saw a dramatic change in her.”

Fleetwood had given herself every chance to go out there and “get the W”, he said.

“I was super proud of her — she put on a clinic and I couldn’t fault her.

“All I said to her in the corner was to go harder and use everything you’ve got to put it into practice — she came out and blew my mind with how well she had adapted.”

Hopman said they had identified what they needed to work on between fights, and Fleetwood’s ability to adapt, and hide her weaknesses while fighting to her strengths, had been impressive.

The expression on her face at the end of the fight showed how much it meant to her, and she had represented the Fortitude Thai Boxing club with pride, he said.

“She was ecstatic and very proud and appreciative of everything that had gone into it.

“You’ve still got to go out and do it, and she put the hard work in which was brilliant.”

Fleetwood will now turn her attention to her next fight in Whanganui, to be held on November 4.

There will be plenty to work on to make sure she continues to improve and develop her skills, Hopman said.

“We’ve got about eight weeks so we’ll be working on her composure, fitness and building on the base she’s already got.

“There’s always things that can be worked on and improved so we’ll be working hard for that fight.”