Joe Le Maire is readying himself for the biggest fight of his career in Las Vegas on November 16.
The 18-year-old kickboxer from Lawshall moved to Thailand in July as part of a year-long training programme with the Sumalee Gym in Phuket.
And after a hectic few months training twice daily as well as trying to master the Thai language, the former West Suffolk College student is now heading for the bright lights of Vegas — seen as one of the homes of combat sports.
Win or lose against his Hong Kongese opponent Chan Kai Tik, Le Maire is confident this bout will lead to even bigger and better opportunities.
“It is a really big chance and one I never expected to arrive so soon,” he said.
“Obviously the win is what I am aiming for, but if it does not go to plan, I will still be in the spotlight.
“I need to make the fight entertaining because that is what people want to see.
“If I can make an impression, more offers will follow.”
The move from life in a Suffolk village to the Far East may have been too big for some, but Le Maire feels it was necessary to fulfil his dream of being one of the sport’s big names.
“I could not let this chance go,” he added.
“The fight in Vegas shows it was the right thing to do.
“People who are older get other commitments like work and kids, but I concentrate solely on my training.”