Kickboxer Ryan snaps up world title

Local kickboxer Ryan Sharp, winner of the gold medal from the World Kickboxing and Karate Union championships in London, is pictured showing off his medal to the Mayor of Ballymena, Cllr. Audrey Wales, at a special reception in The Braid. INBT40-230AC
Local kickboxer Ryan Sharp, winner of the gold medal from the World Kickboxing and Karate Union championships in London, is pictured showing off his medal to the Mayor of Ballymena, Cllr. Audrey Wales, at a special reception in The Braid. INBT40-230AC

Ryan Sharpe (13) returned home from London last week as a kickboxing World Champion.

The young fighter from Drumtara represented Northern Ireland in the WKU World Championships.

Ryan fought a tough Welsh boy in his first fight and won by a unanimous decision. His quarter final bout saw a similar decision against an English competitor.

This set Ryan up against one of Ireland’s top young fighters in the semi final, but the Jan Ling Freestyle Kung Fu & Kickboxing club member impressed all the judges again and sailed into the final.

His final against another English opponent proved to be Ryan’s biggest test but he rose to the occasion and became WKU World Champion, to the delight of his supporters and proud parents Ian and Shirley.

“Emotions were running high especially in the final,” said Shirley, “but Ryan was on fire and did us proud. We’d like to thank his Jan Ling coaches Ernie & Trevor Johnston, his Northern Ireland coaches Willie Lowry & Colins McGowan and also local MMA instructor Rodney Moore for the extra training he gave Ryan.’

Jan Ling coach Ernie Johnston said: “RRyan deserves his success - he trains so hard and is totally dedicated. We’re all so proud of our newest world champion.”

Ryan now travels to Dublin to fight in the WKKC World Championships and will also travel to Portugal in November to fight in the WKC World Championionships.