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The New amateur world championFemale fight star Lydia Braniff is the new amateur world champion.

The Belfast postie, who added the world title to her Irish, British and European honours after she stopped Poland’s Marta Ulanska at the Ulster Hall on December 19, is keen to jump into the professional arena.
But she is finding it hard to locate Atomweight fighters across the globe. Lydia weighs in at just 45 kg ( 7stone) in the lightest division in kickboxing.
Her promoter, former four-time world champion Billy Murray, says the sport needs more “small women” to help further Lydia’s career.
“Out of around 50 e-mails to promoters for an opponent for Lydia with the vacant world title at stake, I got just three responses,” said Murray.
“I have since searched for a list of Atomweight professionals and they are few and far between. Lydia is a small girl and will always be trim and light. She regularly finds herself sparring with girls a stone or more heavier but that’s too much for the competitive world.
“In kickboxing most women fight from 52kg and above and it’s easy to match-make. But when Lydia’s not in pre-fight mode, she is walking around at 46kg! We simply cannot find fighters at that weight and that goes for the WKN ( World Kickboxing Network) as well, as Lydia has beaten all the top contenders and champions in the division .”
Murray is confident Lydia will become a world champ in the paid ranks but wants to see her win it on merit and not via a lack of opponents.
“I know Lydia could take a couple of fights as a professional and go for a major title but that’s not how we want to progress,” added Murray.
“There has to be a ladder to climb and something to prove you are worthy of a title shot. It may be that we will have to consider a number of defences of the amateur world title and allow more time to build a list of future opponents.”

Lydia and husband Mark - Lydia did win another contest following her superb achievement – a bet with husband Mark
He foolishly promised to ‘do the dishes’ for an entire year if she could put a world championship belt on the fireplace over Christmas.
His 12-month endurance test began on Christmas Day and soft-handed Mark, who is planning to fight in 2006, reckons he will stick to the promise.
“I never doubted Lydia would become a world champion,” he said.
“I offered her the bet as an added incentive, hoping she would forget about afterwards. But it was the first thing she mentioned after the fight. I will stick to it. A bet is a bet, but it’s also a lesson learned for me.”

Ireland's own million dollar babe - Lydia Braniff struck all the right cords at the Ulster HalNon-stop action from Lydia Braniff Poland’s Marta Ulanska nice kicker ...but that was not enough for the Pocket DragonBelfat Girl wins the world crown

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