Joe earns title shot
YOUNG Bury St Edmunds Thai boxer Joe Le Maire has earned a title shot at the Barnsley Celtic Championship Challenge next month.
The 13-year-old, who fights out of the town’s Unit One Gym, will take on Louis Lee-Scott for his 37kg Celtic Challenge title at the Barnsley Metrodome, in South Yorkshire on November 26.
Le-Maire earned his shot at the title after a win and a draw from two entertaining contests in the third instalment of the Celtic Challenge in Birmingham.
However, he will have to be on his mettle against Louis, from West Yorkshire, who is the English Thai boxing title-holder and the Northern Area Schoolboys champion.
In Birmingham, Le Maire fought the awkward Jaden Moxon from the Birmingham based K-Star gym and initially struggled with his opponent’s pace before finding his rhythm in the second and pressuring with powerful combinations.
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Despite the cleaner work coming from the Bury teenager, the judges couldn’t separate the two and fairly recorded even scores.
In his second bout of the day Le Maire faced the strong Paddy Sharkey of Spartans gym. After a cautious first round Joe really found his form and dominated the next four rounds with his trademark kick combinations, claiming a clear points victory.
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Also on the Birmingham show, fellow Unit One fighter Hannah Turner, 12, was on the wrong end of an extremely tight points loss to an opponent three years her senior.
In a tough and entertaining fight Turner demonstrated excellent range and tremendous power in an edge-of-your-seat contest.
Despite the result, the considerable improvement in her performance proved she is more than capable of mixing it with older opposition.
“They have been training at the club for about two-and-a-half years,” said Unit One co-owner and coach, Richard Gent.
“Joe had an early defeat in his career a couple of years ago and he has really pushed on since that moment. Hannah has had a similar experience and she is very determined.”
Unit One are currently looking for sponsors for their junior athletes. Any interested local businesses should contact Gent on 07782 103804.
For more information, visit the gym’s website at www.unit1gym.com.