KICKBOXER Robbie Cameron-Henry is getting used to being hit and now has a title.
Less than two years into the sport, 16-year-old Robbie claimed the Central North Island Middleweight Thai Kickboxing Championship on Saturday. He beat 19-year-old Rotorua fighter Renata Hurae at the Next Generation Muay Thai tournament held in Waihi.
Robbie gave away weight, height and experience to the older fighter and beat Hurae after a split-points decision. It was the third time the two had fought after splitting the previous bouts.
“Being hit takes some getting used to, I was really covering up when I started. But I have become more confident in the ring.”
Robbie said he became interested in the sport after watching a friend fight in the annual Mortal Combat Fight Night held in Whakatane.
Robbie, who represents Whakatane Fight Club, is planning to fight in this year’s Fight Night on November 11.
Whakatane Fight Club head coach Carl Cowley, a former boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai champion, said Robbie finished the fight well.
“Going into the last minute of the last round it was still too close to call, but Robbie showed signs of maturity and composure to close out the round with strong and accurate combinations.”
Cowley told Robbie the hardest part of being a good champion is not winning the title, it is defending the title. As the fight was so close, Cowley said Robbie’s first title defence will be against Hurae at November’s Fight Night.
“The pressure of retaining his title and performing well at home in front of a large crowd with many family and friends will be good for his overall development as there is now interest in Robbie to join the national age-group kickboxing team going to Thailand next March.”