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Joe Le Maire hoping that power will tell in clash with Ash Uddin at Blood and Glory

Bury's Joe Le Maire is a decorated Thai Boxer. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Bury's Joe Le Maire is a decorated Thai Boxer. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Rising Suffolk fighting star Joe Le Maire will put friendship aside this weekend as he steps back into the ring to do battle with one of the country’s best in a bid to take another step up the fistic ladder.

Joe Le Maire celebrates a knockout victory during a fight in Thailand. Picture: MR LEAF/SUMALEE BOXING GYMJoe Le Maire celebrates a knockout victory during a fight in Thailand. Picture: MR LEAF/SUMALEE BOXING GYM

Muay Thai talent Le Maire, 19, returns to action for the first time since arriving home from a year spent honing his craft in Thailand, training and fighting in the home of the sport under the Sumalee Boxing Gym banner.

He faces Ash ‘Pocket Rocket’ Uddin, from the famed Bloodline Gym, at the Blood and Glory show at the Round Chapel in East London on Saturday.

And Le Maire, who trains and fights out of Bury’s Unit 1 Gym, can’t wait to get back to throwing punches, kicks, knees and elbows in the 49kgs full Thai rules clash.

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He said: “It’s going to be my first fight since June in Thailand and I lost that one, so I want to come back with a win.

“I’m really excited to get back in the ring – in Thailand I was fighting once a month if I could and that was good for me.

“I’ve had a few months off, which is also good as it’s given my body time to recover as well, so I’m feeling doubly fit for this fight.

“Since I’ve been in Thailand my style has changed dramatically. I’m learning to adapt to other fighter’s styles – I can cope with people like Ash who’s fast and quick, in your face, and I can also adapt to the slow, more technical fighters as well.”

Of his foe Uddin, whom he’s known for years on the British Muay Thai scene, he added: “His fitness is really good and that’s what he relies on in a lot of his fights.

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Joe Le Maire in action in Las Vegas. Picture: JOE PIC PHOTOGRAPHYJoe Le Maire in action in Las Vegas. Picture: JOE PIC PHOTOGRAPHY

“I know he’s going to be quick and last the whole five rounds well. I’ve been doing a lot of cardio and speedwork and working on my power too, because I think I’ll have an advantage there.

“It’s odd getting in there with a friend, but you’ve just got to fight who’s in front of you at the end of the day. I’ve fought loads of friends in the fighting world in the UK.

“You’re friends before and after the fight but during the fight you’ve just got to switch that off.”

- A Fighter’s Life: Joe Le Maire on his time in Thailand

With a win, Le Maire – who became a stadium champion in Thailand and has more than 70 fights under his belt – is targeting even higher profile bouts in 2018.

Joe Le Maire won a silver medal at the Thai Boxing World Championships back in 2015. Picture: ARCHANTJoe Le Maire won a silver medal at the Thai Boxing World Championships back in 2015. Picture: ARCHANT

He said: “I’m hoping to get bigger fights, internationally as well - I reckon Hong Kong, China, those sort of places would be good for fighters of my weight.”

Le Maire also thanked his sponsors for their help and support in his promising career thus far - Unit 1 Gym, Ultim8, SBG Nutrition, Heatrick Strength and Nutrition, Helmsman Lockers and Sumalee Boxing Gym.

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Leave extra time for your journey if it’s likely to be affected by roadworks.

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