CQ fighter goes for glory at world champs
MUAY THAI: Mount Morgan's Tyson Ireland will have a 16th birthday to remember.
He will be in Turkey representing Australia at the IMFA Youth World Championships when his special day comes around on September 30.
The Muay Thai College fighter is in the 14-strong national team that will contest the nine-day tournament, which starts on September 28 in Antalya.
Ireland earned his Australian call-up after impressing at the national championships on the Gold Coast in April.
"I won that fight. It wasn't my best fight but it was pretty good - it was probably a seven or eight out of 10,” the quietly spoken teen said.
"I got shortlisted and then I got selected.
"When I got the email telling me I was in the team I was pretty excited.
"I started fighting for the discipline and to come out of my shell a bit... and now this has happened and it's pretty cool.”
Ireland has three wins, two draws and a loss from his six fights but he is going to Turkey with one intention and that's to win.
Trainer Chloe McLachlan believes her talented young fighter will be a serious contender.
She said he is fulfilling the potential she saw in him when he presented for his first training session at the Muay Thai College in Gracemere six years ago.
"His preparation's been good and he just has to believe in himself,” she said.
"We call him 'The Underdog' because nobody thinks he can fight and he gets out there and smashes them.
"I think there's a good chance he'll come home from Turkey with a nice, shiny belt.”
Martial arts fans will get to see Ireland in action at a fundraising fight night at the Gracemere Hotel on Friday, the proceeds of which will go towards his Turkey trip.
The young gun will take on Jake Dorocinski from Snake Pit Muay Thai, the main event on the program, which will also feature six boxing bouts.
McLachlan has high hopes for Ireland, who was fighter of the night at last year's Rocky Rumble fight night at Callaghan Park.
He hopes to compete at the event again, with organisers trying to find him an opponent for the August 10 event.
McLachlan is hoping to next year take Ireland to fight in Thailand, the birthplace of muay thai.
Friday's fundraiser fight night is an 18 and over event. Buy tickets at eventbrite.com