While most kids spend their free time playing video games or engaging in mainstream team sports, there is a different breed who chooses to wreck the bags, smash some pads and kick ass in the ring. A new generation of kids around the world are taking up Muay Thai and they are looking to take over as the future stars of the sport.
In its bid to discover and groom these young fighting talents, YOKKAO recently launched the Next Generation Kids initiative. The inaugural YOKKAO Next Generation Kids competitive event organized in partnership with SuperShow, was held on 26th November at the Barnsley Metrodome with resounding success. A fully packed venue saw a stacked card of 59 junior fights with visiting fighters from France, Holland, Ireland and Spain on top of the homegrown competitors. Novices as young as 6 years old took to the stage along with young world champions in the energetic event. Besides regular bouts, the event also hosted 2 4-fighter tournaments and 3 world champion titles on the line. Adequate protective gear such as body protectors and headgears were provided to ensure safety for the novices and younger fighters.
With 59 fights on the card, there was definitely no shortage of thrills and spills. Harvey Thomson and Yai Prentice from Lumpini Crawley came out tops in the 4-fighter tournaments after 2 very hard battles each. The fight between Lewis George GFC and Finlay Smith Bad Company was voted by many to be one of the very best junior bouts ever. In the end, Finlay got the decision in a fight that would have been a draw if it was not for a title. Another outstanding close bout saw Kyle Bentley from Peel Muay Thai edging out Raza of All Powers. Kyle’s winning streak now extends to 46 fights over a 4-year period and is definitely a name to look out for. YOKKAO Kids Fight Team members, Joe Ryan and Ellie Barker both starred on the card for the first ever YOKKAO Junior world title and the Intercontinental title respectively. After a hard-fought battle, both YOKKAO junior fighters did themselves and the Fight Team proud by clinching the belts. For the final bout, Irish girl-wonder and WTKA World Champion, Jodie McCarthy fought and retained her title against contender Ella Erawan. Dreams do come true for these young world champions, proving what hard work and dedication can bring. They may be kids but at the debut YOKKAO Next Generation Kids event, the young competitors proved they can put up a fight just as the grown-ups do. Muay Thai parents and enthusiastic fighting kids around the world are looking forward to the follow-up Next Generation Kids event. The next show is already confirmed for 10th February 2018 at the same location and is now open to registration at email@example.com. Watch this space and stay connected by signing up for our Newsletter to receive all the latest updates.