On paper, Wayne Barrett seemed to be in over his head. The middleweight kick boxer stepped into a headline bout in his adopted city of New York against seasoned veteran and Glory tournament middleweight champ Joe Schilling in what would be just his fourth pro fight.
Barrett lived up to the stage, however, and shocked the world by winning a thrilling decision over Schilling. The fighter was proud to show the world what he was capable of.
“Definitely, man. It was one of my goals to show everybody that you don’t have to necessarily follow a record. Just because someone has been doing something for longer than you doesn’t mean that they are better than you,” he tells Cagewriter.
“Fighting and talent are things where, if you have them, you have them and no one can take them form you. If you are dedicated and put effort in, you can do well.”
Even so, Barrett is happy to be a more experienced fighter heading into this weekend’s Glory middleweight tournament in Los Angeles. As he readies to hopefully fight and win three times in a single night, Barrett says that he is a much improved kick boxer than he was in late 2013.
“I learned a lot that first time being on the big stage,” he says of that Madison Square Garden main event against Schilling.
“That was the first time being in the main event as a professional. I grew a lot. Heading into it, people had a lot of opinions and Joe is the master at talking. All that helped me to see what I was made out of and to understand what it takes to be on a big stage.I had never experienced it before and fighting is eighty percent mental. I was green.
“Physically, I truly believe that anyone can do fighting. But, mentally, I’ve grown. It happened in my home town and the effect of that was overwhelming. Even in the fight, you can see it. In the second round, I went crazy when I thought I had him hurt. This time, I know that feeling of getting someone hurt and I will have more composure. It’s a fight. I just have to relax and don’t go crazy.”
Barrett and his fellow Glory Last Man Standing middleweight tournament participants have a mountain of a task in simply not going crazy while staring the prospect of fighting three times in a single night July 21. Barrett says that his team prepared him by mimicking what the night will be like, in training, as best they could throughout camp.
“I’ll definitely be fighting three times in one night,” he says.
“The biggest thing in preparation was just trying to mimic the tournament. I would go in there, sparring, get some guys to push me as hard as they could. Then, we take a break to get the heart rate down, and then go again. That’s how it is going to be that night. We did longer rounds some times, we did extra rounds.
“It is just about being smart. This whole tournament is about brains and I plan on being the smartest man in the ring the whole night.”