Kickboxers in nation's top ten

Four young Suffolk kickboxers have gained top ten national rankings following their debuts at the WAKO British Championships.World champion Marlon Hunt took four of his Red Phoenix Academy students to compete in the highly competitive championships in Nottingham.

By Stuart Watson

Four young Suffolk kickboxers have gained top ten national rankings following their debuts at the WAKO British Championships.

World champion Marlon Hunt took four of his Red Phoenix Academy students to compete in the highly competitive championships in Nottingham.

With it being the first junior ranking tournament of the year, Marshall Hunt, Jordan Scott, Conner Laird and Aaron Barker's performances determined their national standings.

The quartet, aged between seven and 13, have only been in the sport for just a year and are all still orange or green belts.

But, despite being up against opponents that, in some cases, were as high as black belt, the youngsters all finished in the top ten.

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Seven year-old Marshall Hunt finished an impressive fourth place, despite splitting his toe at school just a few weeks before the competition.

Meanwhile, Scott and Laird both came seventh, while Barker was eighth in their respective age and weight categories.

Marlon Hunt said: “The lads had shown me a lot of dedication and wanted to go further a field to see what the competition was like, so we trained hard together and went up to Nottingham not just as a club, but as a family.

“As a fighter I know the pressure they must have felt being there with 600 others competing also, and I believe you must support your students 100% and be with them when they go away to competitions and tournaments.

“I am very proud of my fighters and they did extremely well and have shown me that even though they are still young they have grown in confidence, self believe and maturity.

“I'm hoping that some of my experiences will rub off on them. I'm not expecting all to be world champions, I just want them to be the best they can be.

“We are a small club, but we train just as hard as the big clubs in the big towns. I think in a couple of years we will have produced some really good champions.”

Hunt, who has just returned to full training followed an achilles injury, is currently ranked at No.2 in the world.

The Onehouse resident makes his comeback fight on March 9 at the Octagon Arena against world No.1 and ISKA world champion Wayne Turner.

Hunt recently travelled to Holland, the country he grew up in, to train at the world-renowned Vos Gym alongside K-1 legends Remy Bonjaski and Ernesto Hoost train.

Hunt said: “Multiple world Muay Thai champion Ivan Hippolyte was impressed with my speed and power. I trained for ten hours a day for a week and feel like I'm back in the best shape of my life.”

Coaches will provided for supporters to go to watch the show in Sheffield at only £15pp return. Those interested in booking coach and show tickets can contact Hunt on: marlon-hunt@hotmail.co.uk.

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