Head instructor Darren Phillips, recently did a series of interviews with he man behind Supershow, Pete Spensley. These cover, amongst other things, Darren early days and introduction to Muay Thai, the start of GFC and the fighters over the years. You can watch the first five below, more will follow!
Home Show a massive success.
On the 30th November 2019 we promoted our “home” show. Due to the lack of suitable venues in Bury, we had to use the Masonic Hall in Ashton Under Lyne. The show consisted of 16 bouts, ten featuring fighters from GFC, and included five fighters from Cyprus, headlined by a European title defence and a challenge for a world title.
A packed out arena was treated to a superb evening’s entertainment. First up from the gym, Alfie Speake, just seven years old was having his second bout, winning on points against his opponent from Sandy Holt’s Bolton gym. Second up, Alfie’s sister, ten-year-old Amelia was having her first fight, winning on points in a very impressive debut against her opponent from Optimum in Warrington. Fifteen-year-old Myles Riley, another debutant won on points against another lad from Bolton, and nine-year-old Harry Oldham kept the winning streak going with a very well fought points victory against his opponent from Valley in Whitworth. Sixteen-year-old Daniel Oxley was another impressive debutant, winning. A very one-sided fight on points with another opponent from Warrington. Kyle Jones lost on points in his bout against Phil Martindale from the MMA Academy in Liverpool.
After the interval, it was time for the main events. First up 14-year-old Ella Thompstone, a student of St Gabriel’s, defended her European title against a very well-seasoned young lady from Cyprus, Myria Mattaiou. Ella’s superior fire power was soon evident as she coasted to a third-round stoppage victory. Ella moves to a very impressive record of 18 fights, 18 victories.
Next up, in a full Thai Rules Match, Myk Estlick made his return to the ring after a fourteen-month absence. He was up against the very highly rated Rob Mcnee also from the MMA Academy in Liverpool. Rob had been chasing the fight with Myk for over two years and was very confident. After a close, tentative start, Myk started to pull away. In round three, Myk dropped Rob for three eight counts with knees to the body and the fight was stopped.
In The Main event; fifteen-year-old Lewis Bentley, another St Gabriel’s’ studtnt, four time British and two times European champion, challenged Andrea Lounano from Cyprus for the WTKA world title. Coming out to support “unknown for a junior sporting event” the atmosphere was electric throughout this hard-fought bout. Andreas was another superbly decorated junior, already a double world champion. It what was described by the show’s MC, 45-year veteran of the sport Sandy Hold, as the best junior bout he had ever seen, Lewis Bentley was crowned the new WTKA World Champion.
Last up for the gym, Kieran Lee featured in another England v Cyprus bout against rising Cypriot star Chrisoforos Kesidis. The first three rounds swung back and forth, then in the 4th Kieran swung into life, and a relentless attack of knees forced a stoppage win for Kieran.
It’s worth noting that despite both Ella and Lewis having the biggest fights of their careers so far, both of them arrived early to help prepare the other juniors on the early card. It speaks volumes of the characters of these two young super stars of their sport and underlines the values taught in the gym every day.
Following on from the show’s huge success, we are planning another show for Saturday 6th June, again at the Ashton Masonic Hall.
Our next two fights are real 50/50 fights. First up GFC’s Harry Oldham will take on Valley Thai’s Thomas Miller. These lads have a common opponent in Callum From Weoley Castle. Harry got a hard earned draw, which needed a big last round, when he fought Callum, Thomas Beat Callum when they fought later in the year. This will be an absolute cracker. The next Fight Normi Hussain from Ste Donnley’s Issan gym will fight Jake Carr from David Knowle’s Kearsley Thai. What I like about this fight is that initially both instructors were not that keen on the fight. Both thought their opponent might be a bit too strong. Both guys had a think and decided they would risk it. In a day and age when many instructors wont take a fight unless they are pretty sure they will win, it was refreshing to see two guys risk it knowing that their lad will have to be at their best to win. One of the reasons why both gyms are making waves in the Thai scene and enjoyed so much success on their recent trips to the unified world championships in Italy.
The next two fights to announce feature fighters from one of the country’s oldest and most famous Thai Boxing gyms, Sandy Holts Bolton Thai Boxing Club.
First up Oscar Peake will face of against Myles Riley, representing GFC. Secondly, Harry Cheung will face Marcus Lowe from Imperial Thai Boxing in Southport. All four fighters will be having their first fight on the night, so give them a warm welcome those who are coming to support.
Our next two fights to announce complete our international line up. First up will be a B Class match between GFC’s Kieran Lee and Cypriot rising star Christoforos Kesidis. Both exciting, fit young lads who love a fight, this is a dark horse for fight of the night! Next up is another international junior bout. Issan gyms Ella Haywood will face off against another young lady from Cyprus, Leah Parkin. Ella has just returned for the WTKA championships in Italy where she won gold beating a girl who had beaten her twice all ready! With these last two international bouts added that means we have five, England v Cyprus Bouts on the show!
International A Class
It is with great pleasure I can announce our joint top of the bill, an international A class bout that has the makings of a cracker. Dan Butler, All Powers England v Sotiris Christodolou, Cyprus. After a bit of an absence fighting on these shores, Dan made his return on the recent Yokkao Show taking a fight on short notice against the highly rated Alex Mcgregor. Despite loosing on points, Dan put in impressive performance and in no way looked out of his depth against one of the country’s top 72kg fighters! Sotiris has just returned from the WMO European championships in Italy, where his Gold medal added to an already impressive medal haul for the Ninos gym based in Larnaca. In fact two of his medal winning team mates will also feature on this show, in international junior title fights!
Two more bouts added to our card. The first one features “The Big Boys”. Jimmy Johnson from 12 Quays in Birkenhead will face off against Chris Brooks from Maccelsfield Thai. Our second addition features another fighter better known on the MMA Scene, Damien Firth, fighting out of Optimum Thai against All Powers Malik Shah. Two more additions wo what is fast becoming a packed card.
The next two fights we announce are two novice junior bouts, underlining our commitment to junior Muay Thai! Following on from yesterdays GFC v Optimum fight, we have another one, GFC’s Amelia Speake will face off against Taylor Monoghan.
In our next junior bout, Alfie Speake will face of against Bolton Thai Boxing Clubs Oliver Wiggelsworth. Amelia and Alfie become part of a very select band, only the third set of brother and sisters to compete for the gym. They join Billy and, multi title winner, Georgina Greenwood, together with Vicky and her, perhaps, better known brother Scott Chadwick. Scott Chadwick was one of our most successful adult fighters, and now the instructor at Spitfire in Heywood.
GFC ran its second interclub of the year yesterday, and it was the busiest one we have ever done. For those that don’t know, an interclub is bouts of controlled sparring against other gyms with no decisions, a bit like skills bouts in amateur boxing. We had 17 gyms take part yesterday, doing over 70 bouts in under five hours. We also trialled a digital running order display, which definitely assisted in the day running better than ever! The feedback on social media was fantastic. Perhaps more importantly, there are lots of images floating around on social media from the day showing kids having a great time. Its just great to see kids having a good time, doing some thing positive and enjoying it.
Zaine Mehtab v David Gardner
Our next two fights to announce, include the first fight not featuring GFC fighters. In a C class bout All Powers Zaine Mehtab will face off against David Gardner from the MMA Academy. It’s a welcome return to both these lads as they both featured on last years show.
Daniel Oxley v Leon Woods
The second fight will feature two lads making their debut. GFC’s Daniel Oxley will face off against Leon Woods from Optimum Thai trained be Scott Dixon.