COVID-19 may have delivered a blow to most athletes, but Muay-Thai fighter Charles Bisset is still standing.
In fact, WBC-Muay Thai ranked the Trail Pride Gym alumnus the number-1 Muay Thai fighter in Canada and number-14 in the world.
“I’m pretty excited about that,” Bisset told the Times from his home in Los Angeles. “The good thing is that during this whole [COVID] break I’ve been training and getting better.”
Bisset moved up a weight class to cruiser-weight (200-lbs) early last year and had two title fights lined up before they were cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Retallack native now trains with Muay Thai America in L.A. and although he was shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, he was able to train creatively one-on-one through most of the year.
“We are allowed to have one-on-ones because I’m a professional,” said Bisset. “I’m training at a gym right now and it’s going good. I feel like I’ve improved, and I definitely got bigger too. I’m not happy at losing extreme amounts of weight.”
Bisset was fighting in the 190-pound weight class, and felt the effects of shedding up to 20 pounds for a match.
“My new weight class is 200-to-205 and I’m going to be cutting what you should be cutting, so I feel good about that. I feel stronger and faster and I’m not sacrificing my body, I’m able to feed my body for performance instead of starving it.”
The West Kootenay fighter is poised to return to the ring, and anticipates a few potentially high profile fights in the upcoming post-pandemic year.
Bisset says fights have been sanctioned in other states, and with the vaccine becoming more accessible, things are starting to return to normal.
“The big shows they’re all pretty confident with vaccine rolling out that the summer is very likely. Everybody is going to be wanting to see some fights by then, and I think I may have a pretty busy fall.
“The goal is, if it all can happen, I’d like to fight three times this year.”
Bisset fought for the World Muay Thai title on Mar. 9, 2019, but suffered a loss to Diaguely Camara.
He has won seven titles including the CMTA National Canadian Muay Thai title, the North American title, the WKA World Championship, the ACB North American Kickboxing title, the North American Muay Thai Championship and the World Kickboxing Association Cruiser Weight title.
As a professional he travelled to Thailand in 2018 where he trained under world renowned trainer Lamsongkram and captured the prestigious Muay Thai SuWit Stadium title in Phuket.
He began his training as a youth under Glen Kalesniko at Pride Gym in Trail. By the time Bisset was 16 he was ranked number 4 in Canada as an amateur.
He was honoured with a selection to Trail’s Home of Champions monument in 2019.