“In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.” – Tony Montana
by Nathan Aripez of MuayThaiAuthority.com
Money, power, women, that was something Glen Spencer Jr. lived by when he was running drugs in the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina. Spencer originally attended Shaw University to study accounting, however, a run in with his roommate led to his expulsion, which in turn led him to, as he put it, become a “French Montana style Coke Boy getting money. $300,000 in 6 months.”
“It started when I got kicked out of college for fighting. My roommate who pulled a gun on me,” Spencer said. “I took the gun from him and whooped the holly s— out of him.”
Out of college and not sure what direction to go in, Spencer’s cousins brought him into the dope game. Along with his cousins, Spencer helped control the Dacian Road section of Raleigh and was living the good life. It was like Tony Montana had said; the money came first, followed by the power and then the women. Although Spencer should have also paid attention to another quote uttered by Al Pacino, this time in the Godfather: Part II, “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”
While at a night club, Spencer and his friends were approached by a rival gang. After a fight broke out, Spencer fought his way out to his car looking for his gun, but was then betrayed by one of his own.
“I knew we were going to fight so I threw the first punch,” Spencer said. I fought my way to the car to get my heat and was intercepted by a traitor!”
Spencer was shot three times, once in his arm and twice in his back. His bladder and lower intestines were damaged, but he was able to pull out his gun and return fire, forcing the gunmen to run away. He was then rushed to the hospital by a friend.
“I got shot inside the car reaching over the driver side to the passenger side looking for my burner, when I saw a pistol pointed in my face through the passenger side window,” Spencer said. “I could see the bullets in the gun I was so close to it. I looked him in the eye and dipped to the left, he released three shots which knocked me out of the driver side.”
You would think that a near brush with death would dissuade Spencer from going back to the lifestyle that had landed him in the hospital; instead he went out and started preparing for a war. However, before any retaliation could happen, Spencer was arrested by the FBI for conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Just like that the money, power, and women were gone. He was sentenced to ten years and one month in prison and served nine years and eight months before being released on five years probation. However, it was his time in prison that helped him find martial arts and subsequently changed his life.
After watching K-1 on ESPN one night, he knew it was something he wanted to pursue. It was midway through his sentence when he first encountered Kickboxing and for what remained of his prison time, his sister would send him issues of Black Belt Magazine and Inside Kung Fu. Spencer would shadow box and lift weights, which was the closest he could come to training martial arts in prison. Upon his release he joined NBS gym in Raleigh and never looked back. He left the dope game for good; the money was no longer driving him. He started training Muay Thai and had no time to be running around or causing trouble in the streets because now he was always in the gym.
After 7 months Spencer had his first fight, he won by knockout in under two minutes despite only really having boxing skills.
“I couldn’t kick but I could knee and box” said Spencer.
After winning his first fight, Spencer went on to lose his next four fights. He attributes his losses to not being able to kick properly. He began to improve due to his work with Ken Armstrong, a former fighter and Muay Thai instructor in Clarksville, Virginia. He credits Armstrong for teaching him to fight “Muay Thai” and not just be involved in a fight, but an art form. Eventually, he was paired up to fight against Scott Clark from Canada, in what would be a serious test for Spencer. After losing the bout with Scott Clark, Spencer knew he had to make some changes in order to improve. After the defeat to Clark and while visiting Las Vegas, Spencer met the team that would help him take the necessary steps to continue to progress in his career.
“After my defeat to Scott Clark, who whooped my ass, I came to Vegas and met Josh Aragon and watched him fight” said Spencer.
After meeting Josh Aragon and Kru Walter Michalowski, Spencer made the move from North Carolina to California and began training at Sityodtong Los Angeles. Spencer credits Kru Walter for teaching him how to do the Wai Kru and Ram Muay to pay respect to all who came before him. Since his move out west to train under Kru Walter, Spencer has put together a record of 9-1 and on September 8th will be making his professional debut when he fights Mike Lemaire at the K-1 event in Los Angeles, CA.
Spencer credits Muay Thai for changing his life. He states that he could be either dead or in prison right now, but instead will now be fighting under the K-1 banner. A big basketball fan, Spencer states that he feels he has made it to his NBA and all of it because he was able to escape the streets and found Muay Thai.
“Muay Thai gave me an out from the streets, taught me what REAL RESPECT looks like. It kept me HUMBLE and confident. It opened my world to other options in life and surrounded me with beautiful people.”
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