The fantastic four! Fighters from east Leeds strike gold at world championships


Young regulars at an east Leeds gym are making a big impact in the highly-competitive sports of Thai boxing and kickboxing.

Bad Company Gym, based on Glenthorpe Crescent, off Torre Road in Burmantofts, had four talented fighters in action at the recent WTKA Unified World Championships in the Italian city of Carrara.

The fighting foursome were brothers Finlay and Fergus Smith, aged 13 and 11 respectively, Josh Desmier, 13, and Warren Poyser, also 13.

They picked up five gold, one silver and two bronze medals between them in a competition that also featured entrants from countries such as Poland, Russia, France and Holland.

And, with Thai boxing having received provisional recognition as an Olympic sport, the boys now have their sights set on more glory.

Richard Smith, who has been running Bad Company Gym with wife Lisa Houghton-Smith for 25 years, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “The standard of the British team as a whole was noticeably above the other nations.

“The future is bright for British ring sports. We are really proud of the dedication each of our fighters has shown in training, raising money to fund the trip and actually competing.

“Our Bad Company parents are also fantastic at getting behind their kids.”

The success for the group at the competition in Italy was something of a family affair for Richard and Lisa, as fighters Finlay and Fergus are their children.

Meanwhile, more than £50,000 was raised for Cancer Research UK at an Ultra White Collar Boxing and Ultra Ballroom event organised at the Royal Armouries museum in Leeds by Bad Company Gym with support from North Leeds Dance Academy.

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