English joy for Jackal
KICKBOXING Gio Marchese is fired up for a World Championships appearance in Florida after landing one of the best results of his martial arts career.
The 27-year-old from Odd Down took the World Ring Sports Association English full-contact crown at under- 60kg level with a unanimous points victory over Evesham's Chris Ashworth at Avonmouth RFC.
Marchese, who runs Martial Lifestyle classes at Hayesfield School on Mondays, was badly cut after a clash of heads in the second of five two-minute rounds but recovered to take the coveted national belt.
He found his rhythm and confidence in the third round before securing victory with some good combinations and spectacular spin kicks to Ashworth's head and chest.
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"This was my first title shot in full-contact kickboxing and one of my best achievements in martial arts," said the man nicknamed The Jackal.
"I had a tough ten-week training camp before this fight and would like to thank my coach, Andy Cleeves, and also my corner coaches Alex Kennedy and Chris Djaelani."
Marchese could fight the British title in December but next on his agenda is a trip to Disneyland Resort in Orlando for the World Karate & Kickboxing Association World Championships in September.
He said: "I have won silver medals in the past at this world event so now I'm really fired up to bring the gold back to Bath and Bristol."