Wesley Wayne Jaya’s Interview
By Fatso King
Years ago when I first met Wes Jaya it was at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, Washington. The event was Mid-Day Fightime II. Wes was struggling to get sleep for the next day’s fight when I encountered his teacher, Songlith Singthong coming back from the store and we headed to the hotel for a short chat. Brief introductions were made and that’s when I met Wesley Wayne Jaya, then just beginning his career as a professional Muay Thai fighter.
I was impressed with Wes’ polite manner and easy going demeanor even then. The first thing I thought was ‘This guy fights and he’s nice like this?’. I had little to doubt after seeing Wes in action the following day where he systematically took his opponent apart on the way to a very convincing win. Now fighting out of Boxx Warriors in Malaysia Wes continues achieving in Muay Thai.
How did you get your start in Muay Thai? And what drew you to the sport?
I started in Muay Thai because I loved the sport and I wanted to fight.
In Canada you achieved quite a few wins and definitely were noticed in the USA as well. What brought you to Malaysia to seek out more fights in Muay Thai?
I went to Malaysia because I had fighting opportunities here and also Muay Thai is a lot bigger here compared to North America.
How would compare the training you received in Canada to the training you received in Malaysia?
The training is the same pretty much but there are more experienced boxers in Malaysia to work with.
In Contender Asia’s Malaysia tournament you fought really well. In October you will be participating in another tournament, the Z-1 tournament. How do you prepare differently for a tournament event versus a single bout?
I train more pads, more sparring, and clinching.
Do you prefer fighting tournament fights to a single 5 round fight?
I don’t prefer either one, but I think tournaments are more exciting.
A year ago you participated in the King of the Ring MMA event at Prince George, BC Canada. You won by a head kick KO. How did your training differ but still include Muay Thai?
Yes, for that fight I was training a lot more jiujitsu compared to Muay Thai. Also your Muay Thai style must be changed a lot to a more MMA style.
Will you fight in MMA rules again?
What is the biggest achievement you have had in Muay Thai and what are you proudest of?
Well, I don’t think I am where I want to be in the Thai boxing world. I still need a lot of work. But my biggest achievement was winning the Canadian Muay Thai Association (CMTA) Canadian/North American title. And also I didn’t think I was going to beat Tengku Shahrizal (my latest fight). Note – Wes would win the bout via technical knockout.
Have you ever become good friends with former opponents?
Yes, I am friends with many of my former opponents .
What is your overall opinion on the level of Muay Thai in Malaysia versus the United States and Canada?
That is hard to say I think. I think that North America has a very big MMA scene. Muay Thai isn’t very big there. Whereas in Malaysia it isn’t as big also but it is growing .
What do you think the most important thing for a new student of Muay Thai to learn?
I think foot work.
Where do you train in Malaysia?
I train in Boxx Warriors Gym in Kulim and Boxx Warriors gym in Ampang.
Are there any other sports you follow outside of Muay Thai?
Who are your biggest influence on your fight career?
Samart Payakaroon, John Wayne Parr, and Saenchai. I have many big influences.
How long will you be in Malaysia?
Until June I think.
What is your fight record now?
I have 17 wins, 6 losses.
Can you tell us about your upcoming fight in the Z-1 tournament?
It is going to be an 8-man tournament over 3 months. It is going to be one of the biggest Muay Thai tournaments outside of Thailand. Z-1 has 4 weight categories with 8 boxers for each category. Selected weight categories will be 51.5kg, 59.5 kg, 63.5 kg and 67.5 kg.
Any last words for your fans in Malaysia, Canada and internationally?
Much thanks to Wes Jaya for this interview! I wish him the best in Z-1 and beyond.
Here’s some more of Wes hard at work in the office of 4 corners:
Thanks to Boxx Tomoi for the video!