There's only one thing better than competing in front of your home crowd and that's winning.
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Rotorua's Thomas Peato knows the feeling well after claiming the South Pacific Super Heavyweight Muay Thai on Saturday night.
Previously involved in street fighting and gangs, the 31-year-old has turned his life around through combat sports and his hard work paid off when he beat Tahitian national Muay Thai champion Enocha Tauraatua on a points decision.
While elated about the result, Peato told the Rotorua Daily Post there was room for improvement.
"I was just watching the video and I'm still a far way away from where I need to be but I'm happy. I actually thought I was lucky to get the win, it was a close fight and we were both pretty far from where I think we should've been in terms of the level of fitness and athleticism.
"I think I landed the more heavy punches and I was definitely the aggressor. It was awesome having a home fight, I pretty much had 99 per cent of the crowd and they were loud."
The fight and the win have only motivated him further to perfect his craft.
"I definitely want to improve, it's the conditioning and fitness, which it has been for a long time but I'm in a much better mindset now. I'm back to the drawing board this week, I'll probably have a week off and do some rehab stuff then look forward to the next one.
"I'm not too sure what I'm going to do next but this win puts me in a contention spot for a world title but I know I'm far from it. I just need to tighten everything up, I'm pretty much going on a whole new strength and condition programme and eating programme. To get to the level I want to get to, I need to really tighten up my technique.
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"That takes a lot of drilling, a lot of repetitive drilling so that you're ready to react or counter every situation."
Peato's was one of 13 fights during the Tahiti v New Zealand event at Rotorua's Budokan and organiser Wayne Wairoa, Ngakaunui Muay Thai head coach, said it was a great exhibition of the sport.
"It went really well, I'm really proud of Tom, he did what I asked which was kick more and save his hands until he came into his range.
"There were actually a lot of good fights, there was a good turnout and a good crowd, it was awesome. The guy that impressed me the most was Wiremu Brown from Turangi's Taniwha Gym, he had the fight of the night.
"He lost the title fight [to Hamilton's Nevik Hook] but it was a real awesome scrap, he only lost on split decision, they were very close. He showed a lot of heart and had the whole crowd on their feet. That was for the New Zealand middleweight title."
Rotorua Boys' High School students Jack Young and Ohomairangi Takeshi-Vercoe were also in action, Jack winning the New Zealand title in his division.
"Jack was good, he won his fight and Ohomairangi did the whole five rounds and did really well but just not enough work and gave the fight away.
"I'm hoping for a bit more interest in the sport because Muay Thai is an Olympic sport now. I want to promote Muay Thai in Rotorua, you don't have to fight you can come just for training and fitness."
Anyone interested in giving Muay Thai a go can call Wairoa on 0211 865 248.