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  • Dexter Hastings

Young Thai Boxer Turns To the Noble Art Joe West

Young Thai Boxer Turns

To the Noble Art

Joe West

Joe West is a 17 year old orthodox switch hitter who has moved from Thai boxing to the noble art. The young welterweight nicknamed “The Reaper” is having his first unlicensed boxing match at the home of boxing in Birmingham the Irish Centre on 19th August on the Retribution show.

In Thai boxing as an amateur he won 5 and lost 1, as a pro he has lost 1 at Thai boxing won 1 and lost 1 at K1 and is ranked 2nd in the UK at Muay Thai in his age and weight category and is also ranked 3rd in the UK in Kwon K1.

Joe mainly trains at Fightden in Digbeth where he is trained by Shaun Cogan, he also trains sometimes at foundry gym under the tutelage of Andrew Wittey and Leon Marfleet.

Joe’s favorite boxer of all time is Ricky “The Hitman”

Hatton because he loved the way that he always tried to be the people’s champ and fought like a crowd pleaser and entertainer rather than trying to win via points.

When I asked Joe what the best fight he had saw was? He told me “recently I would gave to say Tony Bellew v Ilungc Makabu. I liked how Bellew came back after the first round and changed up his game plan to win the fight”.

Joe has only been boxing for 11 weeks, however he boxed for about 6 months a few years ago. The young fighter has always been involved in combat sports since the age of 3 so has came into boxing with no inactivity as he started boxing immediately after fighting in the British K1 championships.

I asked “The Reaper” what inspired him to take up boxing? Joe explained “I was inspired by a number of things the first was that I grew up watching the Rocky films and I always wanted to boxes”. Joe continued “Another reason was seeing Ricky Hatton fight but my biggest reason was both of my granddad’s. One of them is what I would class as a typical hard man and someone I have looked up to and wanted to be like him my whole life so part of the boxing thing comes from there. My other granddad's dad was a boxer so I hope that every time I fight he can see a bit of his dad in me which always puts a smile on his face and I'm glad we can have that connection. So yeah I have a lot of inspirations and a few of them we very close to home”.

Joe hardest fight has been as a Thai boxer against the now ranked number 1 in the UK Laciano Mendota. Joe informed me “it was a fight that I lost on points but every round we both gave it our all and ended up suffering an injury which put me out of competition for a little over a year”.

Joe added at the end “I'd like to say a huge thank you to my sponsors for all their support and faith in me and what I do. My sponsors are Tatted muscle appeal, Need protein and Northern Gum-shields.

You can purchase tickets for Joe “The Reaper” West’s debut fight at the Irish centre on argued 19th from his online store.

Dexter’s Thoughts

Joe is yet another Kickboxer/Thai boxer to turn to the noble art of boxing. It shows that boxing is still growing and is now attracting different fighters from other combat sports to take it up. With the growth of unlicensed boxing and even if the amateur sector of boxing don't like it,it is now a way for a boxer to get experience, make some money and even turn professional. I am a big fan of unlicensed boxing as I won 3 Birmingham and WestMidlands belts and now referee for Showdown Entertainment one of the biggest promotions in Birmingham. Unlicensed is only effective if the fighters are matched up correctly and the boxers have medical checks before and there are trained paramedics on hand just in case things go wrong. In my opinion unlicensed boxing has increased the popularity of the sport and has helped boxing stay as the number 1 combat sport.

If I had one bit of advice for Joe and the other marshal-artists is that you can not kick in boxing. But on a serous note I wish Joe all the best in his up and coming fight and welcome him to the noble art of boxing.

The Birmingham Boxing Column will be at the show on the 19th to give a full report on the show.

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