MALTBY Thai Boxing Club were back in action on Saturday in Barnsley, in the Celtic Championship Challenge.
The show attracted top fighters from all over the UK, and lasted all day at the Metrodome Centre, with over 30 junior fights in the daytime and the seniors battling it out in the evening.
First representing the Maltby club was nine-year-old Ewan Hickling having his very first fight, over five rounds against an opponent from Oldham.
His coach Phil Glover, himself a former British and European kickboxing champion, told the Guardian of his pride at the youngster’s performance: “To be on a big show like this most newcomers would be very nervous but not Ewan, he dominated the fight winning almost every round with his knees and powerful kicks, gaining a unanimous decision at the end making him a clear winner.”
Another nine-year-old, Josh Swift, was up next.
A ‘veteran’ of over 20 friendly bouts and three fights resulting in three wins, Swift took on John Irwine from Scotland for the Celtic Challenge title belt over five rounds.
Glover described the action: “In the first round the Scottish lad showed he had a lot of experience by using lots of trips, grabs and takedowns to stop Josh getting in with his painful leg kicks.”
“As the fight went on Josh tried to gain control of the fight but his opponent seemed to have an answer for everything.”
“In the end there could only be one winner and the Scottish lad’s hand was raised, but Josh lost nothing in defeat and gained a lot of experience from this fight.”
“He’s already wanting a rematch.”
“I am always happy to see my fighters do well but good things will only happen if they put the hard work in and these two lads trained really hard for this show, so even though we had one loss I was still proud of them both.”
The coach is keen to get another of his young stars back in the ring, but is struggling to find willing opponents.
He explained: “Originally Jade Kelemen was to appear on the show but after her last performance, which saw her destroying the British champion in three rounds, no one would step into the ring and challenge her.”
“There has been talk of getting opponents from abroad if no one will fight her over here.”
For more information on the club telephone 07999 702676 .