Le Maire planning to teach Jays some new tricks in their MTGP clash
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk’s Joe Le Maire is preparing to counter superior size and strength with Thai trickery in the biggest fight of his career so far at the O2 this Saturday.
The 20-year-old faces the super-talented Evan Jays at the Muay Thai Grand Prix event in the Indigo venue, a card topped by the gigantic domestic Thai Boxing match-up between fierce rivals Liam Harrison and Charlie Peters.
Le Maire, who fights out of Bury’s Unit 1 Gym, will square off with Jays – a student of former world champion Kieran Keddle at his Double K Gym – in a 53.5kg Full Thai Rules bout just two fights before that main event, and knows it’s his most high-profile outing to date.
While he’ll be giving away size to the naturally bigger Jays, Le Maire is planning to call on all the tricks he’s learned while living and training in Thailand – he’s returned from Bangkok’s renowned Petchyindee Gym for this scrap – to see his hand raised.
He said: “Evan’s a top fighter. He’s a little bit bigger than me and he’s good with his combinations, they’re really fast. Obviously I’m having to get heavier for this fight – I prefer about 50kgs, but I fought at 52 last time and was fine.
“I’m going to have to use all the tricks I’ve learned in Thailand in this fight – I’m naturally the smaller fighter, he’s cutting down for this, I’m going up, so I’m going to have to use my brain and speed.”
Le Maire added: “It’s going to be insane. It’s definitely the biggest fight of my career in terms of profile. I’ve fought on some great cards, but this is definitely the pinnacle. I think it’s going to be my hardest fight to date.”
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Le Maire’s head coach at Unit 1, Rich Gent, said the fight is a 50/50 call, given his charge’s size disadvantage. He explained: “Evan’s going to be bigger than Joe – I think Joe will be giving away four to five kilos on the night.
“We tested the waters a little bit last time at 52kg against a strong lad, although obviously Evan is more experienced.
“But he’s not a power fighter, he’s a counter fighter and likes to sit back and I think if Joe takes it to him – with the way he’s hitting now and the power he’s got from Thailand – gets the tactics right and can hurt Evan early then he’s got a good chance.
“He’ll be topping the bill at the O2 one of these days, without a doubt.”
Le Maire, who will return to Thailand after the fight, also thanked his sponsors – Unit 1 Gym, Heatrick Strength & Conditioning and Helmsman Lockers.