Preston Thai boxer Tommy Johnson is hoping to take his career to the next level after becoming the Golden Belt English title champion.
The 25-year-old defeated Karl Upton in a 74kg contest in Prestwich – winning courtesy of an unanimous points decision over five brutal three-minute rounds.
After losing the opening round, Johnson hit back strongly to win the next four to secure a comprehensive victory.
He is now hoping to take his talents to the international stage, hopefully fighting all around the world.
“It was a really good fight,” said Johnsonn (right). “I ended up getting caught in the first round with an elbow, but I dominated the rest of the fight.
“He was a good, strong opponent but I think if I had a little bit more left in the legs I could have knocked him out in the fifth round.
“It was full professional fight and full Thai boxing rules where we could elbow each other.
“I ended up needing five stitches after that first round, but it was not enough to stop me.
“It’s definitely the biggest win of my career. I don’t think anybody else from Preston has won this title.
“I want to go for that European title and fight in big promotions around the world.”
Johnson trains at Shor Chana Muay Thai School, which is based in Manchester Road, Preston.
He works under Master Chana who is a Thai national with decades in the sport. Master Chana has trained numerous champions at national, European and world level.
Johnson, who took up the sport at the age of 18, also benefited from spending several months in Thailand earlier this year where took part in a number of fights.
“I got sponsored out in Thailand and it was a really good experience.
“I had seven fights out there although I did not win all of them – I would like to say I won all of them but it was still a great experience.
“I managed to fight on television a few times.”
The former Priory High School pupil lived in Thailand with his girlfriend Alice Smith, who also happens to be a Thai boxer.
“Alice fights and she’s very good.
“She actually won many more fights than me in Thailand.
“Hopefully she will get to fight for an English title next year.”