A Maltby youngster put up a great fight for a national Thai boxing title at a sold-out show at Haydock Park racecourse last weekend.
Josh Swift featured on the ‘Thai Fighting Machines’ event in St Helens, alongside many of the UK’s best fighters.
The 11-year-old’s British Junior title bout, against champion Ste Clarke, was on the undercard of the show.
His coach at Maltby Thai Boxing Club, Phil Glover, told the Guardian the event was a new experience for his young charge.
“The show was a complete sell out and Josh had never fought on a big show like this before, but he had trained very hard for the five round battle.”
“But going into this bout Josh was having his 40th fight so he was taking along plenty of experience into the ring.”
In round one Swift walked forward throwing strong kicks, as the champion, a Merseyside fighter, moved cleverly around the ring catching the challenger with quick counters.
The same thing happened in the second round as the Maltby lad pressed forward, but Clarke was too slippery and continued to counter.
In the last three rounds a change of tactics was used as Glover told his fighter to clinch and knee at every opportunity to slow down the champion.
Clarke frustrated Swift however, escaping and moving away.
After five action packed rounds the capacity rose to their feet to applaud both young lads for a great display of Muay Thai action.
The decision of the judges was a points win for Clarke, who was very respectful towards his opponent after the bout.
A proud Glover said: “Although Josh suffered a points loss he is determined to come back stronger and along with the rest of the fighters at Maltby Thai boxing club he will be back in the ring again soon.”
“We are all very proud of what Josh did in his first serious challenge for the British title.”
“Even though he is only 11 he knows what he has to do to be a champion he will train harder and come back stronger.”
“This has been a good learning curve for him.”
The club is taking on new starters, aged eight and upwards, on Mondays and Fridays from 6pm to 7pm at the Coleman Centre in Maltby.
For information call 07999 702676.