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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Joe Le Maire targets dream fight at Lumpinee Stadium after clash with Rajan Swali

PUBLISHED: 17:21 28 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:23 28 March 2018

Joe Le Maire lands a kick in his fight with Ash Uddin at Blood and Glory. Picture: NATALIA RAKOWSKA

Joe Le Maire lands a kick in his fight with Ash Uddin at Blood and Glory. Picture: NATALIA RAKOWSKA

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Suffolk fighter Joe Le Maire has already ticked Las Vegas off his list of dream destinations to do battle, and now he’s taking aim at the spiritual home of his sport.

Joe Le Maire celebrates a knockout victory during a fight in Thailand. Picture: MR LEAF/SUMALEE BOXING GYMJoe Le Maire celebrates a knockout victory during a fight in Thailand. Picture: MR LEAF/SUMALEE BOXING GYM

The gifted Muay Thai stylist has a bit of business to take care of first though, facing off with talented teenager Rajan Swali in a 52kg dust-up at Roar Combat League 9 at Edgbaston Stadium this Saturday.

After that, he plans to return to Thailand – where he’s already spent a year living, training and fighting – and continue his climb to the top of the sport, dubbed the ‘Art of 8 limbs.’

It’s an ascent he hopes one day will see him trade punches, kicks, elbows and knees at the famed Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, the Wembley Stadium for Thai boxers across the globe.

- MORE: Le Maire targets Olympic Games after beating Uddin

Of his bout on Saturday, the 20-year-old, who fights out of Unit 1 Gym in Bury St Edmunds, said: “My opponent is an up-and-coming young fighter, not as experienced as me, but he’s got a really good Thai style so it’s not going to be an easy fight.

“It’s going to be very tough but I’m going to show what I can do. I showed in my last fight (a dominant points win over Ash Uddin) that I have a high fight IQ and I’m going to need that again here.

“I’m not naturally the strongest or the quickest or the fittest but I can use my brain a bit during fights to pull out tricks and keep them guessing.”

- MORE: Suffolk prodigy Le Maire to fight in Las Vegas

Joe Le Maire lands a jumping kick in training at Sumalee Boxing Gym. Picture: MR LEAF/SUMALEE BOXING GYMJoe Le Maire lands a jumping kick in training at Sumalee Boxing Gym. Picture: MR LEAF/SUMALEE BOXING GYM

Win or lose against Swali, Le Maire will fly to Thailand looking to add more weapons to his impressive arsenal by learning from the best in the sport.

He’s already spent 12 months out there, during which time he faced off with numerous Thai fighters at stadiums around Phuket.

As part of that experience he was also flown to Las Vegas, where he fought at the Orleans Arena – and it’s left him hungry for more battles on the big stage.

- MORE: A fighter’s life - Fighting in Las Vegas

“I want to get fights in Bangkok and Hong Kong or Malaysia, anywhere I can find opponents my size,” he explained. “Lumpinee Stadium would be the ultimate stage.

“I’ve done Vegas, an opportunity I never thought I’d have, but now my dreams are Lumpinee or Rajadamnern Stadiums – and Vegas again, I hope!

“Lumpinee is the Wembley of Muay Thai, the top stadium to fight at. It’s the best of the best.”

- Le Maire also thanked all his training partners and coaches at Unit 1 – led by head coach Richie Gent – and his sponsors Don Heatrick Strength and Conditioning, SBG Nutrition, Helmsman Lockers, Ultim8 and Sumalee Boxing Gym.

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