Suffolk prodigy Joe Le Maire to fight in Las Vegas

Joe Le Maire

Joe Le Maire - Credit: Gregg Brown

It is a sporting story straight out of a Hollywood script.

Le Maire, right, in action in Thailand

Le Maire, right, in action in Thailand - Credit: Archant

A teenager from sleepy Suffolk proves himself as one of the best fighters in the UK, earns a scholarship to train and fight in Thailand, then gets a dream bout in Las Vegas, the home of combat sports.

If he wins, he could be well on his way to becoming a global fighting star.

For Joe Le Maire, that dream is about to become reality.

The 18-year-old from Bury, who is currently living and training at the Sumalee Gym in Phuket, will make his debut in Sin City next month.

Joe Le Maire performs the Wai Khru before his fight at the Sai Nam Yen Stadium. Photo: Gunn Taylor/S

Joe Le Maire performs the Wai Khru before his fight at the Sai Nam Yen Stadium. Photo: Gunn Taylor/Sumalee Boxing Gym - Credit: Archant

He faces Hong Kong’s Chan Kai Tik in a 48kg K1 (kickboxing) bout on the WLF promotion on November 16.

It will be the culmination of a whirlwind few months for Le Maire, who made his name on the Muay Thai (Thai-boxing) scene back in the UK, winning the famed WBC green belt as national champion and fighting at venues including the O2 Arena.

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The humble youngster’s in-ring success earned him a year’s scholarship to live the life of a fighter in Thailand, where Muay Thai is the national sport.

And just months into that adventure, he’s off to Las Vegas.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity,” he told the EADT from Thailand yesterday.

“It’s something I really couldn’t turn down.

“Las Vegas is known as the home of combat sports across the world and I never thought, when I started training and fighting, that I’d end up fighting there so soon.

“The show I’m on is a Chinese show so it’s a huge chance for me.

“If I impress, with it being a big show in China, that could open doors for other shows and fights around the world.

“But as long as I fight well I’ll be happy.”

He’s now training hard at Sumalee, enduring gruelling twice daily sessions of padwork and sparring, as well as starting his day with runs of up to 12 kilometres.

Of his opponent for his Vegas debut, Le Maire – who started his fighting journey at the Unit 1 Gym in Bury – said: “I know he’s erratic and he’s going to be quick with his boxing and his low kicks, but that’s about it.

“There’s not a lot out there in terms of YouTube videos of him.

“But training is going really well and I’m feeling good.”

You can follow Le Maire on Facebook on his athlete page ‘Joeyboy ‘Sumalee’ Le Maire’ or on Twitter @JoeLeMaire2.