The energy and focus that Richard ‘Maximus’ Abraham
(12-5) expends in his day-to-day life would simply ruin the average human.
Twice-daily strenuous training sessions are standard for professional fighters. Less standard is also simultaneously operating two businesses and having six children to take care of.
Either one of those latter two would be enough to fill the average person’s day, but for Abraham they are merely elements of the whole. He’s used to it.
That said, the work required to ready his newly-opened Maximus Muay Thai facility this month pushed him to level of exertion that he’s never felt before in his life.
“Let me tell you, this thing nearly killed me,” he says, and he’s only half-laughing as he does so.
“I got a new 3,600 square feet facility and man, we went hard on this thing getting it ready to open. The first week of this year I worked about a hundred hours on it. I was sleeping like three hours a night.
“It’s nice though: all new bags, brand-new Zebra mats, all that. But something had to give [for that expenditure], it meant that I had to be like the general contractor myself. I was doing the dry-walling, the HVAC (air conditioning), you name it, anything and everything.
“It was savage. I’m glad that part of my life is over!”
With the facility now up and running, Abraham - who also works as a tombstone engraver in the daytime - has been able to return to the far more relaxing world of smashing his skeleton into other fighter’s skeletons in search of victory.
At GLORY 50 CHICAGO next month he will occupy the co-main event slot alongside - or rather, opposite to - fellow Chicago-area fighter Malik ‘Free Smoke’ Watson (59-23).
Following his last fight, a victory over Daniel Morales, it will be his second consecutive Chicago derby fight, but Abraham says it’s only coincidence. He’s not out to establish himself as the only sheriff in Chicago town.
“Ha no, I’m not trying to clean up the local welterweight pool or anything,” he laughs. “I guess the match just made sense. He was on the undercard of the last show and got a win and now they are moving him up the card.
“Actually we trained together a long time ago when we were both amateurs with Team Turo. Then he moved to Thailand, he was out there for several years, that’s why his record has so many fights on it. He was fighting once or twice a week - I’m a little jealous actually, I’d love to fight that often!”
Abraham is a fighter who resolutely avoids trash talk, but he’s happy to offer analysis of opponent’s styles with his professional’s eye.
“He’s mainly going to be a kicker I think. All that time in Thailand, kicking will be ingrained. You have to be a kicker if you want to win fights in Thailand, right?” he muses.
“But I hear he’s been working with professional boxers for this fight with me, which is a good idea. I would do that as well, if I had to fight me.”
Abraham skirts making any bold prediction for the fight’s outcome - “I’m going to do my best, I’m preparing for a good scrap because for sure he will come to fight” - but is clear about what he wants from the rest of this year.
“I want a busy year this year” he says, as if working the odd 100-week wasn’t enough. “ I want to fight name guys, I want to push myself to the next level as a fighter, as an athlete, as a father, just as a human being in general.
“I want tests. I want to compete at the very highest level possible and wherever that takes me, I will follow.”
Where that might take him is out of Chicago and to pastures new. Abraham is the Chicagoland home fighter for GLORY but he is keen to fight in other locations as part of testing himself and also as a way to focus.
“I love fighting in Chicago but it’s a ton of work for me because I do so much media and other things ahead of my fights here,” he says.
“I hear there’s a Brazil show coming up, I’d love to get on that. Also to fight in places like Amsterdam or France, Tokyo one day - classic kickboxing places where the sport is big.
“But right now I just feel blessed man: two businesses, six kids, fighting for the best kickboxing promotion in the world. Oh and a new dog.”
A new dog? “ Yeah,” he says, a little sheepishly. “We just got a Passendale Terrier. She’s beautiful. As if life wasn’t busy enough!”
The new Maximus Muay Thai facility is open to the public and can be found at 362 East Irving Park Road, Rozelle, Illinois, 60172
GLORY 50 CHICAGO takes place Friday, February 16 at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois.
GLORY 50 Chicago will be carried live on ESPN3 at 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT on Friday, Feb. 16, with a replay on ESPN2 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 18.