A young kickboxer from Londonderry will be in Birmingham this week to compete for the WKU super-bantamweight world title.
Ken Turner, a 15-year-old who trains at Top Ring kickboxing club in the cityside, will take on Kade Hardy for the junior 54kg world title in Birmingham on Saturday (April 18, 2015).
Ken, who already holds the Northern Ireland K1 title, has been stepping up training ahead of the bout for months and now feels he is in peak condition ahead of his bout with Hardy.
“I’m fighting for a WKU world title in the juniors. It will be about five one-and-a-half minute rounds. I’ve been doing the kickboxing now about five years.
“I’ve got the Northern Irish K1 title, which I won not too long ago, about a couple of months ago. That was K1 but the world title fight now is kickboxing. In K1, you are allowed to kick in the legs and strike with the knees as well, whereas in the world title fight it will be restricted to kicks above the waist and no knees.
“I’ve been training every day, twice a day except for Sundays which is obviously for rest. I’ve been training flat out towards it - for months. I’m well prepared for it now.”
Asked about his opponent, the St Columb’s College pupil said: “I know his name and I’ve seen a couple of videos of him on Youtube. He seems good, but I think I’ll beat him.”
Volunteer Alan Boyd said: “It is major. It is a world title. The WKU is one of the biggest organisations in world kickboxing. It is a big deal for him to get this world title fight. It means he is at the top of his league and you don’t get there without that effort, that time, that commitment.”
Ken is also set to represent Northern Ireland in a major world championship tournament in Spain later this year, along with a large group of fighters from his club, Top Ring.
The local club also sent a large contingent of fighters to compete with Team Northern Ireland at last year’s tournament, held in London.
The Northern Ireland team finished third in the overall standings. Ken Turner and other fighters from Top Ring, such as Jordan Logue, Caroline Cole, Jamie Quigley, Brandon Quigley and Kevin Doran will be hoping for medals.