Halifax fighter’s world titles shot

Muay Thai fighter Joe Craven (right)
Muay Thai fighter Joe Craven (right)

Twenty-year-old Muay Thai fighter Joe Craven will fight for the WBC and the WKN world titles later this month.

The Halifax man will face seven-times world champion Youssef Boughanem on the PSM 11 show in Brussels for the 72.5kg crowns on April 22.

It follows Craven’s latest successful defence of his UK title against Scotland’s Chris Shaw on the YOKKAO show at the Macron Stadium, Bolton.

Craven, who started in the sport at Calder Thai in Halifax and now trains out of the world famous Bad Company gym in Leeds, has had 26 wins and three losses from 29 fights.

He is from Illingworth, went to Trinity Academy and is currently studying sports coaching at Leeds Beckett University in Leeds alongside fighting and teaching Muay Thai.

He has recently signed a professional contract with Enfusion which is a worldwide promotion.

Craven is the No 1 ranked fighter in his weight category in the UK and No 5 in the WBC world rankings.

Shaw, 29, took an impressive record of 34 wins, one raw and four losses into his fight with Craven.

The Halifax fighter struggled a little in the first round, taking some big shots, but held his ground and started to take control after round two, using clever techniques and finishing strongly to beat his larger opponent and continue his winning streak.

The fight against Belgian-Moroccan Boughanem will be a huge challenge for Craven but one he believes he can win.

He said: “I don’t want rubbish fights. To be the best you have to fight the best out there and believe you can win.”

Craven expects to take a big following to Brussels and tickets are available from him.

Muay Thai or literally ‘Thai boxing’ uses stand-up striking using fists, elbows, knees, and shins, along with various clinching techniques.