Joe’s Thai championship glory

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A KING Edward VI student has clinched a British Muay Thai championship after victory at one of the sport’s biggest events in London at the weekend.

Joe Le Maire, 14, competed on the undercard of Xplosion, the largest Muay Thai promotion in Britain, which saw some of the country’s top fighters take part.

The teenager was competing in only his 16th decision fight, and first in the two-minute, five round junior A-class format, at the IndigO2 venue within London’s O2 Arena.

In front of a sell out crowd of 2.400, Le Maire defeated Kierran Parker on a judges decision to win the UKMF 40kg British title.

La Maire, who has battled his way through the junior rankings in the past two years, said: “That was really tough, but I wanted it so much. I’m over the moon.”

Coach Richard Gent said he was proud of the youngster’s achievement, adding: “Joe showed his desire in there. Myself and the whole Unit One gym are immensely proud of him. He has done very, very well.

“For Joe to open such a huge show was a massive honour. If he maintains the attitude he has got and the motivation now, he is no doubt going to do very well.

“The longer he keeps up the training and conditioning and continue to learn, the sky’s the limit.”

Joe’s mother, Sally, said: “I couldn’t be any more proud. It was awesome.

“I do get nervous because it was such a big venue, but it is exciting. He would be training and fighting every day if he could.”

The newly-crowned champion’s next bout is a Celtic Challenge title defence, scheduled for April 14 in Manchester.

Anyone interested in sponsoring Joe should contact Richard Gent on 01284 760468.

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