Kickboxing: Ruth Dacey’s Q&A with former world champion Alex Mackenzie

Alex Mackenzie in action
Alex Mackenzie in action
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Alex Mackenzie is a man on a mission to help kickboxers of the future reach their full potential.

“I want to push young fighters to the top of the world and see them represent GB in the best possible way,” he said.

Alex Mackenzie, left

Alex Mackenzie, left

“I may not be in the ring anymore but I’ll be throwing every punch and kick with them.

“I have so many wonderful memories and experiences at the highest level and I’m determined to use this to help others and get this sport the recognition it deserves.”

The 34-year-old knows what it takes to be the best, after winning the world tile along, with a European, Intercontinental and two British titles in an illustrious career.

But the retired fighter is now focused on using his past success to aid the future wave of youngsters coming through, and hopefully help them reach their full potential.

Mackenzie, a full-time coach and trainer at Powers gym in Stannington, currently has several hot prospects under his wing; including his protege Blayne Armitage, 16, and Matt Gordan, 22, who has fought at international level.

Alex took up the sport aged 15 and started competing at 24 when he felt he was ready for the gruelling training camps and bouts that the career would entail. Ruth Dacey went along to grill him on his success, and the future.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?

Winning the world title two years ago. My mum had always wanted to see me clinch that belt but sadly she passed away a year before, so I knew that it was a challenge I had to go for. It was a tough year of solid dedication and the 12 week fit camp right before the fight was a killer. They really are hellish but it makes sure you’re 100 per cent fit and confident when you step into the ring. I fought against the French fighter Frances Patrick Boye - he was a very rangy fighter and had good kicks but I made sure to continuously pressure him and my fast hands and high guard won me the title.

How did you get to the highest level in the sport?

It wasn’t easy as I started at a relatively late age and that’s why I took my time in deciding to become professional and compete. I always wanted to be the best and you have to have that drive and ambition, and this was shared and supported by my coaches. Listening and learning has been key for me and fortunately my former coach Paul Powers was there in my corner from the very beginning, he has been the rock and helped me through very dark times. Also Richard Hepworth showed great guidance and those two experience and expertise pushed me beyond levels I thought I could even reach.

Why have you gone into coaching and what does the future hold for this sport?

My heart and soul is in this sport and I want to help create a path way for talented fighters. Sometimes I get that urge to get back in the ring, and I’m sure I could be tempted- never say never! But for now I’m going to put back into Power’s because they put faith in me. I also want to help the sport develop and right now the kick boxing needs to push for more funding. I would love to see the sport introduced into the Olympics one day as it rightfully deserves a place there and this will hopefully filter into schools because the sport really teaches you important core messages for life.