NINE young fighters from Kearsley have found huge success representing Britain at the Unified World Ringsports Championships in Italy, with seven world champions crowned.

The fighters, aged between seven and 19, brought home a grand total of 15 gold medals from the tournament in Pisa, having competed in 20 fights without a single loss.

All of the fighters train at Kearsley Muay Thai Gym with owner David Knowles, who said it was great to see such achievements from the youngsters.

Knowles was overjoyed with the results and spoke of his pride in seeing the team do so well at such a high level.

He said: “Taking nine fighters over to Italy was an amazing opportunity for me and very good experience for my fighters.

“I am so proud of them all. They worked so hard on the run up to the trip, making sure they were fit and ready and all the hard work has paid off.

“The feeling of being a coach and seeing how happy the fighters were after all their wins is something I can’t explain, that is why I do what I do.”

Alex Jones and Matthew Jones, both aged 19, each won their bouts in the under-52kg and u54kg categories to be crowned European Muay Confederation champions, defeating Israeli Ron Batbabo and Frenchman Bouland Sofiane respectively.

Marcus Williams, aged 14, was named WTKA World Champion in the u56kg category, fending off Israeli opponent Michael Yohananov to claim the title.

Ten-year-old Layton Hilsley, became a double WTKA world champion, beating Hungarian and Romanian opposition to claim the u42kg title, before defeating Ukraine’s Vasyl Slobodenluk in the u44kg category to take home his second crown.

Tommy Gore, who is also 10, had the most bouts of the group, and claimed the u28kg Muay Thai championship, before facing Moldovan, French and Ukrainian opponents to be crowned K1 champion in the same weight class.

Nine-year-old Jack Williams brought home the u40kg Muay Thai world title, defeating Vasyl Slobodenluk.

Emily Gallagher, who is aged eight, brought three titles back to the north west. She became the u20kg and u22kg world champion by defeating Lou Montague, from France, in both matchups, and the u22kg world champion in the K1 competition, again beating Montague.

Seven-year-old Archie Yates also became a double world champion, having beaten Scotland’s James McGregor and England’s Louis Peel to take the u20kg K1 title, before defeating Peel again to claim the Muay Thai world championship.

The fantastic set of results was completed by seven-year-old Joshua Aspen, who became a Muay Thai and K1 world champion in the u24kg category, twice beating England’s Louis Peel to bring home his two gold medals.

The group were selected to represent England at the tournament after they were crowned champions at the Great Britain event in March, a tournament organised by Peter Spensley, who took the team to Italy.

He said: “Those that know me really well have listened to how proud I am of every junior fighter and heard countless times of what these amazing young people achieve.

“Taking on all comers from across the globe and giving away age or weight in many bouts, they attained 20 wins in 20 fights.

“Their achievements will never be equalled and deserve the recognition for the outstanding efforts of all involved.”

Knowles, who runs the club in Market Street in Farnworth, was also full of praise for Spensley and his efforts in helping the team get to the prestigious tournament.

“Pete works hard every day trying to make sure juniors and adults progress in this sport, organising shows and giving people fantastic opportunities for events like this,” he said.

“We would like to thank Pete for all his help and look forward to future events with him.”