East Durham teenager to represent the country at boxing world championship in Thailand

A local teenager will jet off to Thailand in less than two weeks to represent the United Kingdom at a prestigious boxing competition.

Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 4:45 am

At just 14, Harley Arnett, from Wingate, has been selected to join Team GB at the IFMA (International Federation of Muyathai Associations) World Championships in Bangkok, Thailand in December.

Harley was selected by UKMF to join the team for the prestigious competition just over six weeks ago and his mum Louise Fewster, 36, has said he has been training non-stop ever since.

Louise said: “I’m very proud, very nervous.

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Thai boxer Harley Arnett. Picture by FRANK REID.

“He’s training really hard. He trains non-stop just to get himself prepared.”

This is not the first big competition for the teenager, who last year became silver medalist in the Baltic’s Open and won the award for team GB’s best newcomer in 2020.

Harley, whose boxing career started when he was just five, has also gained other accolades, including English Champion, Multiple Sandee Champion, British champion, WTKA European Champion and WTKA World Champion.

Louise, who runs a cafe in Wingate, has said Harley fell in love with the sport after they took him to a gym in Trimdon.

Harley Arnett. Picture by FRANK REID

She said: "When he was five-years-old we took him through to a gym in Trimdon just to see if he would enjoy it.

"There was Thai boxing.

"He loved it straight away and he just carried on with it.”

Louise continued: "Harley is a bit of a joker. He enjoys his training.

"He doesn’t take anything too serious until he gets in the ring and then that’s it, he’s totally different.

"An hour or two before his fight you can’t even speak to him. Nobody speaks to him. We always just leave him because he is that focused, you can’t get a conversation out of him.”

Harley’s trip to Thailand is self-funded and the family have set up a GoFundMe.

The St Bede’s school pupil will be accompanied by his father and will be in Thailand from November 26 until December 12, which also includes a week of isolation on arrival.

Louise added: "It’s a lot of discipline but he’s used to it now. It’s all he knows.

"He’s so determined and he’s worked hard, so he deserves it. He deserves to do really well.”

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