A Carlisle martial arts gym is ‘over the moon’ after its teenage fighter claimed victory in Thailand.

18-year-old Matty McLeish represented Lorne Street’s Dragon’s Gym, which specialises in Muay Thai fighting, during the trip to Bangkok which saw him fight in the Rajadamnern Stadium and receive specialist training from some of the biggest names in the extreme sport at the Superbon Gym in the Thai capital.

Dragon's Gym's chief instructor and one of Matty’s coaches, Christian Percival, travelled to Thailand with the teenage fighter and reflected on the experience.

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He said: “I first came to this place at 17 years of age in the early 90s, supporting the fighters from the gym we were training at in Bangkok, and was totally blown away and totally in awe of what I was seeing. It is still, after all these years, my favourite place in the world, and never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that 30 years later I would have my very own fighter competing in this ring.

“Watching the fights highlighted again, how brutal this sport is and the fights in the Rajadamnern are a different league to what we see back home.”

Christian also recalled Matty McLeish’s victory in the legendary Rajadamnern Stadium, which he described as the ‘Mecca of Muay Thai’, and detailed the delight and pride he was sharing with Matty’s father Matty McLeish Snr. who was also part of the Cumbrian conglomerate in Thailand.

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He said: “Matty fought against a quality Thai opponent who was certainly well skilled and experienced.

“Matty was a little shell shocked at the start of the fight, who wouldn't be fighting here for the first time, but soon settled in and started landing some good scoring shots and put to good use the training and skills that he has learned training in The Fairtex Training Centre and Superbon gym.

“Matty came away with the win after battling through some awesome exchanges between the two of them.

“To say Big Matty and I are over the moon is an understatement.”