A Preston fighter is set for a grand appearance on one of the biggest stages the sport of Thai boxing has to offer.
Matt Ball will feature on a prestigious Yokkao show at Bolton Wanderers Football Club’s Macron Stadium on Sunday, with the show starting at 1.30pm.
Some of the best exponents of the sport from Thailand are flying in to appear on the show, including Pongsiri Mitsatit, while England’s world 65kg champion Liam Harrison is set to go to war with German kickboxer Kevin Burmester.
While 22-year-old Ball’s clash with Robbie Collins will only feature on the undercard, his elevation to such a stage shows that he is widely regarded as a hot prospect in the sport.
“If you get to fight on a Yokkao show, you have done well,” said Ball’s trainer Rachel Gledhill, who runs the the Red Kite School of Thai and Kickboxing, in Fylde Road, Preston.
“In Thai Boxing this show is the equivalent of boxing having Anthony Joshua and Conor McGregor on the same bill – as far as status and prestige is concerned.
“There are world class fighters from Thailand coming over to challenge the likes of Liam Harrison and Jordon Watson from this country.”
Ball has been training under Gledhill’s watchful eye for the past five years since he walked through the gym door at the age of 17.
He has featured in 10 fights so far against much more experienced and at times bigger opponents. So far his record reads won four and drawn two and lost four.
“Matt will be moving up to B-class and I think he’s good enough to become A-class,” said Gledhill. “I’ve had him for five years and he’s like one of my children. He’s very dedicated and committed.
In order to give Ball the best preparation for the upcoming fight, Gledhill has enlisted the help of other experts.
“Alice Smith is one of my other coaches who is heavily involved with Matt. For this fight camp, I also recruited an A-class fighter, Liam Kirkham, who lived in Thailand for five years, coaching and competing, to do his fight camp.
“I felt a more experienced fighter would be more beneficial to Matt in preparation for Yokkao. It’s certainly been beneficial. Matt looks sharper and fitter than ever before.”
For tickets to the show, please access the website www.supershowdown.co.uk.