Mayor meets South Shields champion kickboxer ahead of world title clash

A South Tyneside kickboxer who is preparing for his biggest fight to date was put through his paces by the borough’s mayor.

Coun Ken Stephenson visited Nathan McCarthy during a training session ahead of his world title clash on Saturday, November 10 at the Temple Park Centre, South Shields.

The Mayor of South Tyneside Ken Stephenson with Nathan McCarthy who will be going for a world title belt in his home town.

The Mayor of South Tyneside Ken Stephenson with Nathan McCarthy who will be going for a world title belt in his home town.

The mayor stayed at the Kuei Ling gym, in Maxwell Street, where the 25-year-old has been a student since the age of seven, for almost two hours.

He also met some of the other fighters who will be stepping into the ring on the night.

Nathan, from South Shields, will be taking on Frenchman Ari Quitusisa, in the headline bout for the vacant IKF World Title Belt.

It is the biggest home town fight for Nathan and it is hoped the community will get behind him as he puts his fighting skills into practice.

The Kuei Ling Martial Arts & Fitness Academy

The Kuei Ling Martial Arts & Fitness Academy

Nathan had hoped initially to be taking on 39-year-old American Amer Abdullah in a rematch after he narrowly missed out on bringing the WKA World Champion belt home in 2016.

But the title holder refused to defend the belt.

Coun Stephenson said: “It’s fantastic to see a local sportsman like Nathan competing at an international level.

“I was delighted to visit him during one of his training sessions and see first-hand how much work goes into ensuring he is ready to take on his opponent.

Coun Ken Stephenson with Nathan McCarthy.

Coun Ken Stephenson with Nathan McCarthy.

“We wish him all the best when he takes to the ring for the big match on November 10. It’s even more special that he is competing in his home town of South Shields, and I’m sure the whole town will be rooting for him.”

Coach Steve East said: “The mayor was such a lovely guy and he spent quite a lot of time at the gym and with Nathan.

“Unfortunately, he won’t be able to attend the night due to other commitments but he was interested in what everyone had to say.”

The night has been made possible with support from a number of businesses, including North East Refurbishments Ltd which is the headline sponsor.

Nathan, has been training in kickboxing since the age of seven and has a number of titles to his name including the WKA European, ICO British and WKU World Champion.

He trains six days a week and sometimes twice a day to ensure he is in top form when he meets his opponents. A limited number of tickets for the fight are on sale now from any of the fighters taking part or from Kuei-Ling Kickboxing Club.