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'Mama Mia -
Its A Double Italian Job.'


Ian Young (left) with  WKN world president Stephane Cabrera winning his British title.Football star turned kickboxing champ Ian Young is hoping for cries of ‘bella bella’ when he steps into a ring in Italy next week.
The elegant young fighter will hope his sleek, chic style of combat brings him the European Super Welterweight crown in Turin on December 1st. The ProKick gym based man has been offered a shot at the major honour as his accelerated rise through the rankings has made him number one contender.
Young is typically upbeat. "This is a little earlier than I expected but I’ve always said if my coach Billy Murray thinks I’m ready, then I’m ready," he said. "It will the toughest fight of my career and it will be in the Thai style of kickboxing, but come December 1st it’s Danilo Fanfano who will be calling ‘Mama Mia’ not me. I’m bringing the European belt home to Northern Ireland."
Murray, chief coach and founder of the respected ProKick gym, is offering his charge some sage words in the lead up to the fight.
"Ian has proven he can cope with whatever is put in front of him," he said. "The Thai style of fighting is different and calls for a different approach. But because Ian is ranked Britain's no.1 he gets a shot at another variation of a kickboxing title when it comes along. We’ve decided to go for this one because Ian is hungry, he trains as hard as any young fighter I’ve brought through, he is focused and I'm sure he will adapt quickly to the demands that Thai fighting brings. We’ve watched tapes of Fanfano and we have a plan.
"You’ve got to remember that in just 14 fights, Ian has won two Celtic titles at two different weights and also recently too the British superwelterweight crown. He is a big occasion fighter, he feeds off the crowd. And there’ll be no bigger occasion for him than in front of that Italian crowd."


What a belterMurray will have his hands full in the Italian city. Mark Hennessy, another hot-tipped young fighter from the ProKick production line, will also compete. The current British amateur middleweight champion in the Thai style, who is also a final year law student at Queens, will take on European champion Stefano Deregibus. "He’s a real talent," said Murray. "This is the kid who Marvelous Marvin Hagler picked out as Fighter of The Night at the Ulster Hall in December 2005 – and that was in one of his first big fights. He’s absolutely the underdog going into the Italian clash, but he keeps on impressing in training and I think he wants to win quickly to get back to study for his exams. He’s a real talent and this is just the start for him."
The north-Belfast man has accepted an invitation to challenge the current European champion.
Hennessey, just back from Villars in Switzerland managed a draw with Swiss hero Magliano a ‘low-kick’ Thai specialist.
Hennessy in Championship actionHennessey, the current British middleweight champion was gearing up for his first defence of the domestic title, but considers a European challenge a quicker step toward an amateur world title bid.
“I know a lot of people believed I walked away with a fortunate win over Magliano in Belfast and now in Switzerland but I felt I did enough to impress the judges both times,” said Hennessey.
“Now we've both had a second chance to prove who is the best and the WKN said I was the better fighter so my time has come for a European title shot and I'm not fazed by facing the Italian European champion, Fanfano Danilo in his home town.”

Going into the Italian champions country on December 1st seeking victory will not be an easy task for Hennessey.
He added: “I will make sure there will no room for debate. I will go to Italy and do the Italian job knowing that I will have to stop him or win in style to get the decision and I am confident I will come home with the belt.”


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