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
"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
ITS A EUROPEAN DOUBLE
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
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,”
“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
Going into the Italian champions country on
December 1st seeking victory will not be an easy task for
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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