TEENAGE Thai boxer Natty Dodds will attempt to win a world title away from home when he fights in Greece this weekend.
The 15-year-old from Southend travels to Corfu to challenge defending champion George Mouzakitis for the XFS junior world title on June 28.
Fighting under full Muay Thai rules, the pair will trade punches, kicks, elbows and knees over five two-minute rounds with only gloves, shin guards and elbow pads to cushion the blows.
Mouzakitis, who won a silver medal at the sport’s world championships in Malaysia last month, puts his title on the line for the second time and will enjoy enthusiastic home town support in San Stefanos.
Dodds returns to the ring for his first competitive contest in over a year after falling back in love with the sport on a recent trip to his birth country Thailand.
He holds the national version of the XFS title and is the second fighter from the Mungkorn Dam gym in Westcliff to step up to world level in as many months.
WBC English champion Reece Thomson, who has been helping Dodds prepare for his world title tilt, also fought in Malaysia and returned home to Benfleet with a bronze medal.
The 18-year-old battled his way into the semi-finals of the 10-day tournament on Lankawi Island, but the chance to fight for gold for Team GB in the under 57-kg category was ended by a French opponent in a disputed points’ decision.
“I have never been robbed so badly in my entire career,” he said. “It was probably one of my best performances in the tournament.
“But, oh well, things happen.”