Kickboxing gym is a fighting force

BALLARAT’S Barbarian Muay Thai gym is making giant strides to becoming a force on the international kickboxing front after securing a host of high profile bouts for its fighters in the coming months.

Both Brett McCluskey and Cobie Brigham look set to continue their professional careers as undercards for world class fighters.

McCluskey, who has already fought once this month, will take to the ring tomorrow night as the undercard for Charles August’s world title fight while Brigham is eyeing off a potential Australian title this June.

McCluskey recently improved his fledgling professional career to 2-1 with a points victory in Melbourne on March 7 while Brigham is fresh off a draw at the Powerplay Promotions titles held on the weekend.

Brigham, 21, was rocked early in the fight against opponent Jun Lee but recovered well to force a draw in the encounter that was broadcast live in 140 different countries.

“It was the first time I’ve been tagged (rocked),” Brigham said.

“He got me with a kick to the head but it’s good to know that I can take the big hits and I managed to drop him with punches in the next round.”

The result leaves Brigham’s impressive record at 11-1-2.

Another of Barbarian’s fighters, Michael Krul, is also progressing well, notching up his third straight professional victory on the same night as Brigham’s draw.

Barbarian head trainer Dave Ashmore, who has the current title of Australian trainer of the year, is expecting big things from his fighters this year.

“We had 30 fights in total last year across Australia, the UK, America, Japan and Thailand,” Ashmore said.

“The depth in our gym is so strong at the moment and we have a heap of young, but mature fighters.

“We’d like to stay up around that number (30 fights per year) but we’re also about quality over quantity.”

michael.pollock@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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