A South Tyneside kickboxer who was forced to change his fighting style with only two weeks’ notice has fought his way to a world title.
Nathan McCarthy, from South Shields, stepped into the ring to take on Germany’s Sven Schemmer for the World Karate and Kickboxing Union (WKU) Under-90kg light contact world title.
he is a testament to what hard work can bringSteve East
The 21-year-old, who trains with Kuei-Ling kickboxing club at South Shields Fight Factory in Frederick Street, only had a fortnight to train for the bout after being chosen by WKU UK President Del Sampson to replace the original challenger, who was forced to pull out due to injury.
Nathan who normally competes in full contact matches, also had to adapt his style to fit in with the fighting rules.
In light contact rules the emphasis is based on movement and range of technique, as well as striking. Excessive power can be penalised.
The show was held near the city of Frankfurt and saw fighters from Germany, Turkey and UK competing.
The fight lasted seven rounds, with Nathan, who has trained in kickboxing for about 12 years, lifting the winner’s belt awarded to him by president of the WKU Klaus Nonnemacher.
Nathan’s coach Steve East said: “Due to the dedication and hard work that Nathan shows in his training and his fight camps, he is able to take fights at short notice, and when the situation is right, he is able to adapt to different rules.
“He is testament to what hard work can bring when you put the work in.
“We are all very proud of what he has achieved.”