Muay Thai boxing coach Andrew Rose has praised five of his young fighters after they were selected to represent Great Britain at the WTKA World Championships in Italy.
Aberdeen Muay Thai Junior Fight Team youngsters Rudy Da Silva (15), Jack Robertson (14), Zac Sim (13), Jaxon Ritchie (9) and Cooper Rataj (7) were selected at a qualification event in Barnsley, and will jet off to the World Championships in October.
The fighters, who train with Rose at the Granite Fight Factory, will be the first from the club to compete at the WTKA event, and their coach has hailed it as a “massive” opportunity.
Rose reckons that the UK’s Thai boxing talent is among “the best in the world” and as his fighters routinely compete and win titles on the circuit, he has big expectations for them at the World Championships.
He said: “To get even one person there would have been great – but to get five, it’s incredible. It’s a massive opportunity for them.
“The UK junior Muay Thai scene is probably the best in the world, so we’re constantly competing at the highest level against the best kids in the country.
“We know what to expect and know what we need to do to prepare the boys. I wouldn’t be surprised if we came back with World titles – that’s the expectation of this group.”
‘A credit to their families and the gym’
Rose has heaped praise on each of the fighters, who he says all “live and breathe boxing.”
The Muay Thai coach highlighted their work ethic and commitment as to why they have reached the World Championships.
On the three teenage fighters, Rose said: “Zac has quickly established himself, not just as the best in Scotland, but the best in the UK.
“This year we’ve seen a big difference with things clicking for him – his style, technique and fighting IQ have all improved.
“Jack is the most experienced junior I have in the team – he started when he was only five.
“When he puts his mind to it, he can really achieve some great things in this sport.
“Rudy has already won a Scottish WBC title and a WMO Scottish Title. We’re at the stage now, in the UK, that kids will refuse to fight him.
“He’s beaten everyone in Scotland and we’re starting to see when we put his name forward for shows in England that people are very reluctant to fight him.”
The two younger fighters, Ritchie and Rataj, who are only nine and seven respectively, have also received compliments from their coach.
Rose added: “Jaxon has already won Scottish titles and is an experienced fighter. The kid is impossible to tire out – all he wants to do is train and fight.
“He doesn’t shy away from any fight, and always brings his best.
“Cooper hasn’t got as much experience, but to have the mentality like he has at such a young age – he’s fearless.
“At that age I was still trying to ride a bike without stabilisers!”
Aberdeen Muay Thai Junior Fight team are on the look out for sponsorship opportunities to help fund their trip to Italy, if you might be interested contact: email@example.com