Muay Thai: Freddie Haggerty set for GB trials as he looks to emulate success of big brother Jonathan

BY MATT VERRI

He may have a difficult task on his hands to match his brother’s success, but the early signs are that Freddie Haggerty is well on his way.

The 15-year-old Muay Thai fighter enjoyed a stellar 2019 in the junior ranks, while his older brother Jonathan delivered on the biggest stage when he became the first Englishman to win a world title in the ONE Championship last year.

And the teenager from Walworth is hoping to continue the family’s success with further glory in 2020 as he seeks to qualify for the British team heading to Thailand in September for the Youth World Championships (IFMAs).

“It [2019] was amazing for me – three fights, three wins, three belts,” Haggerty said. “I won probably the best belt a junior at my age can win, the WBC. I beat a kid who was on Team GB and had won gold at the IFMAs in the Turkey.

“For me to beat someone like that who has travelled to a different country and won gold was an amazing achievement. It gave me a real belief in where I was and a confidence in what I’m doing.

“I’ve got the Team GB trials coming up, and hopefully if I win all my fights I have a great chance of being picked for the team to fly out for the IFMAs later this year and fight for the country.

“It’s like the Olympics for juniors, the platform it gives you is incredible.”

Haggerty trains regularly throughout the week, including three times after school in a junior class trained by his brother, and the pair often go for their early morning runs together.

It is clear the success of Jonathan is a significant motivating force for Freddie even at this early stage in his career.

“My brother’s been a huge influence, without him I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing,” he admitted. “Seeing how far he’s got inspires me, and makes me believe I can do the same. I first got into the sport when I was about six, mainly because my brother was fighting and my dad was a fighter too.

“I didn’t just do fighting though, I used to do musical theatre too. I was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda.

“I wanted a clean slate when I joined secondary school, so I decided to take fighting more seriously.”

Haggerty has ambitions to follow his brother into Asia’s ONE Championship promotion.

He said: “Where my brother is, ONE Championship, that’s where I’m aiming for. It’s the best place for be for a Muay Thai fighter.

“I’ve also started taking up wrestling. I’ve done the stand up stuff a lot, so I wanted to improve the wrestling and ground work.

“But I’m taking my time, I’ve still got so many years.

“The sky’s the limit in terms of where I want to go.”


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