An East Durham College student has become a world kickboxing champion in just his second fight in the sport.

Rhys Smith (pictured above), aged 15, was victorious in the World Traditional Kickboxing Association Intercontinental Junior Muay Thai Boxing Championship 51kg weight category.

The student, who studies on the college’s 14-to-16 engage course, has only been training in the sport for 18 months and this is his first experience of competitive fights.

Rhys trained four days a week at Durham’s Unity Gym in preparation and said he is looking forward to more fights in the future. “These were my first real fights outside of the gym and I certainly wasn’t expecting to come away with the title,” said Rhys.

“But once I got through my semi-final I knew there was a chance that I could go on and win the final. “I’m over the moon and really proud of my achievement. I can’t wait to go on to my next fight which will hopefully be in the next couple of months.”

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