Picture if you will a scene of strobe lights blaring through a darkened crowd. Interrupting the light, a tall figure emerges adorned in a pink feather boa and is dancing his way towards the lit up space in front of him.
At first glance, you might think that you are in one of the many night clubs that make up the Gold Coast strip. But alas, you are not. Instead, you are about to watch World Ranked Lightweight boxer, Jacob Ng in action.
More accurately, you are watching him perform a ritual.
One that is incredibly special to him and his aura within the realm of combat sports. A ritual that started for him in the North-East of Thailand. Another place, another time and in another sport.
Muay Thai, to be exact.
“When I lived in Thailand, there was a Scottish boy there called Jordan and he used to dance out to the ring and he’d do the style called Esan dancing,” Ng told The Inner Sanctum.
“No one else would do it, just the white fighters – everyone else was Thai – and everyone would just love it. So I started shuffling out to the ring back then when I was fighting Muay Thai.
“Jordan actually tragically passed away cutting weight for a fight. He was one of my best mates I lived with in Thailand for a year, so I do it in honour of him, dancing out to the ring, as part of his memento of life.”
It is a ritual that has hyped many a crowd as they have watched the 26-year-old rise through the World Lightweight Rankings to currently sit at number 9 with the IBF and number 10 with the WBO.
In return Ng feeds off of the energy coming his way. Every clap, cheer and shout being hurled into the arena by fans act as fuel to stoke the fighter’s engine.
“The crowd really pumps me up when I fight. I like having a big crowd there cheering me on,” he said.
Yet this is only a minor brushstroke in the overall portrait of the man known to many as ‘The Flamingo’. Embedded within him is a warrior spirit, a mentality to continue fighting with every last ounce of one’s being.
Such spirit was on full display on 12 December last year in what many have called the 2020 Australian Fight of the Year.
It was a night that will live on in the memories of many combat sports fans as Ng defended his IBF International and WBO Oriental Lightweight titles against Hunter Ioane in Canberra.
The back and forth battle, scheduled for ten rounds only lasted the better part of five. In that time both competitors tasted the canvas, the most devastating occurrence appeared to be Ng laying face up after a powerful right hand landed early in the fight.
Yet a somewhat groggy Ng got straight up, a look of near satisfaction beaming across his face. Staying down was never an option. All he has ever known is to get back up.
NG said his will to win never waivers despite the adversity.
“That’s happened to me four times – I’ve risen from the dead in a sense as a fighter now,” Ng said nonchalantly.
“First time it happened when I was living and fighting in Thailand, fighting Muay Thai. I slip over and I catch a leg kick as I’m falling down and it actually fully KOs me, like I’m stiff bodied out in the ring.
“But because it was an accidental foul the ref let me recover and let me fight and I ended up stopping the guy in the second round with a body shot.’
“Then I’ve been dropped two other occasions as a pro boxer and then got up to finish a fight by KO or TKO”, he added.
Yet there is one more element to the spirit of ‘The Flamingo’ that comes with finding one’s feet after hitting the floor. Victory and the glory that comes with it.
“It’s the will of the win in the fighter. I just want to win every time I’m in there. When I get knocked down I want to come back and keep beating the guy that I’m fighting.”
Ng has amassed a perfect 14-0 record and a collection of belts that includes State, National and Regional Lightweight titles. With every fight, however, comes greater tests.
Some might say a bigger test, both literally and figuratively, will come on 27 March in the form of New South Welshman and former WBF World Super-Lightweight champion, Blake Minto (13-1-2).
The bout is set to be an opportunity for Ng to test himself against a quality boxer on a pound-for-pound level in the higher weight class. This is before moving back down to the Lightweight division that he hopes to make a name for himself in.
“For me, it’s more that I get another Aussie fight before defending my belts against an International name,” he said.
Before Jacob Ng was able to fully break down all aspects of the fight with Minto, ‘The Flamingo’ emerged, wearing his respect for the fight game and the warrior spirit as a badge of honour for all to see.
‘It should be a decent scrap’, Ng surmised.
Part two of our two part series with Jacob “The Flamingo” Ng will break down the fight v Blake Minto (27 March) and will be available during fight week.