'I'm really proud of all of them' - Four Suffolk fighters win world titles in Ireland
PUBLISHED: 11:45 25 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:45 25 October 2019
A quartet of fighters have returned to Suffolk as world champions after they all clinched gold at the prestigious ISKA Amateur World Championships in Ireland.
Jess Veal, Alexa Amos, Tamzin Raison and Hattie Cocksedge all represented England at the event in Cork, and all returned with at least one gold medal to show for their years of training, hard work and sacrifices.
Raison, 17, won gold in both the under 50kg Muay Thai and K1 categories, while Cocksedge, 16, claimed gold in the under 55kg Muay Thai category and bronze in K1.
Veal, 30, came home with gold in the under 65kg Muay Thai competition, with Amos, 25, winning the over 70kg Muay Thai crown and grabbing silver in the K1 event.
All four of the talented quartet train and fight out of the Unit 1 Gym in Bury St Edmunds, and were cornered in Cork by the gym's owner and head coach Richard Gent.
He said: "I'm really proud of all of them. Events like this are all about developing confidence, and it's a very difficult scenario to be in - you don't know who you're going to be fighting and when, you're travelling, all of those things which make it a real test.
"It was a big step up, and a great team atmosphere."
Of the fighters individually he said: "Hattie is showing huge potential and glimpses that she can be really good, we've just got to work on consistency now.
"Alexa could be fantastic if I could get her in the gym every day - she lives miles away - but she's always fit and ready to fight, she just needs to get more experience.
"Jess is great, she needs ring time now to get the best out of her - if she can stay consistent and fight on a regular basis, she'll shoot up the rankings. She's going to be a real force.
"And Tamzin, for a kid who lost her first five fights, has come so far - she's just unbelievable. She's very talented, but her mindset is awesome - she fights with zero fear and her fitness is such that no-one can keep up with her!"
Raison, who's also the ISKA British champion, will next fight for the most famous belt in combat sports, the WBC green belt, when she competes for the Under 18 national title in Bedford on November 17.
Gent added: "She's fighting for a proper prestigious title, which will be really interesting. If she keeps up what she's doing, I'm really excited about what she she can achieve."