CHESTER warrior Dave Newbrook aims to add a fourth world title to his collection this weekend – in what he is billing as one of the biggest fights of his life.
The 32-year-old kickboxing instructor will step out in front of an expected crowd of 5,000 to take on Bury’s Andy Thrasher at Bolton Wanderers’ Reebok Stadium Arena on Sunday.
At stake is the WKA version of the 64.5kg world Muay Thai boxing title – a belt Newbrook is eager to add to his two light-welterweight world titles and his WPKC welterweight belt.
The top-of-the-bill contest will be recorded by cable channel Bravo and Newbrook expects to be cheered on by an army of fans from his home city.
“It is one of the biggest fights of my life,” said Newbrook. “He is a tough competitor but I don’t feel I’ve lost anything coming up to this weight.
“I’ve been heavier since I started training for mixed martial arts anyway, and I have been developing my power while retaining my speed.
“I am confident I can come home with the title.”
Newbrook specialises in the kickboxing discipline of Muay Thai, which allows the use of elbows and knees, but has recently experimented with mixed martial arts (MMA), or cagefighting.
Despite the lure of the more commercial MMA, the city centre resident has no plans to finish with Muay Thai boxing after this weekend’s bout.
“I am not quitting kickboxing after this,” he said. “I will probably fight again. I will be working for another year on the technical skills required for MMA, and I expect to defend my titles in that time.”
Newbrook has been training at the Cheshire Martial Arts Centre on River Lane, Saltney, with protégé John Henry McNamara, who will also be on Sunday’s ‘Rumble at the Reebok’ bill.
McNamara, of Newtown, Chester, is another fighter considering his options, with MMA a tempting prospect, but for now he too is focused on kickboxing.
This Sunday he faces Daitan Jackson for the British light-middleweight title.
“That is a tough match-up,” admitted Newbrook, “but John Henry is a much improved fighter every time he gets in the ring.
“I believe if he decides to stick with Muay Thai he will be a world champion.”
There are coaches carrying fans from Chester to the Reebok for the fight. They will leaving Chester Railway Station at 2.30pm and return at 9pm.
The journey costs £40, including a ticket for the fight. To book a place call Southpaw Promotions on 0800 7569413 or 01244 312950.
To view a trailer for the fight visit www.rumbleatthereebok.com