Teen kickboxer Gee Denne is poised to continue his rise in the sport and is hoping for big things in the future.
Denne moved over from Thailand - a country with a rich kickboxing history - when he was younger but only began training in the striking art after he arrived in the UK.
The Hastings Kickboxing Academy prodigy has been training for seven years and fighting for four, and has already racked up an impressive record aged just 17.
He said: “My family got me into kickboxing when we moved here. At this point I’ve had about 20 light-contact fights and I’ve only ever lost one. I’ve had 17 wins, one loss and two draws.”
Denne often travels around the country to fight. So far he’s been competing in fights made up of three two-minute rounds, with 30 seconds’ rest in between rounds.
The disciplined youngster is training hard to hopefully reach his aim of getting a belt around his waist one day.
“My main goal in the sport is to get a title,” he continued. “I hope to one day get a British title and I’d probably like to compete for that in the under-65kg weight class, as that’s the division I fight in now.”
Alongside his in-ring commitments, Denne regularly travels from his home in Hastings to study animal management at Plumpton College.
Combining his education with his sporting commitments isn’t always easy, and Denne has to balance his college work with a rigorous training regime and strict diet.
“I train really hard - about two-three hours a day,” he went on. “That usually consists of running, pad work, sparring and hard conditioning. As well as all the work in the gym, I also have to really watch my diet. Right now I’m only eating two meals a day - although they are very large meals.”
Next up for Denne is a full-contact match on July 26. He’s confident but, as always, isn’t completely relishing the stresses that come with stepping into the squared circle.
He added: “I’m not really looking forward to it because I always put massive pressure on myself to perform well. It’s a full-contact bout, so I’m expecting it to be hard and challenging, but I’ve always said that I don’t really care who I fight.”