A PROMISING Muay Thai boxer from Kendal has been tipped for national glory after travelling halfway across the world to pursue his sporting dreams.

Luke Nicholson, 25, has given up his job and moved to Thailand to train with the best fighters in the sport, and according to his coach Russell Garth, he has the potential top go right to the top.

"Some people have a natural aptitude for Muay Thai but don't have the work ethic," he said.

"Luke has both, He has so much talent and a great work ethic and I've absolutely no doubt he can go all the way in the sport."

Mr Garth, a fitness trainer based at the town's Phoenix Fitness gym who runs the Lakes Muay Thai Club, said he spotted Luke's potential as soon as he started training with the club.

He made an instant impact, developing his skills quickly, and he won his first two competitive bouts which took place in the Liverpool area.

But while Muay Thai is now a national sport and is growing in popularity, Luke decided his best option to fully realise his potential was to travel over to Thailand itself.

Luke raised the money for his travelling expenses and after giving up his job as a carpet fitter, he jetted across to the Far East around two months ago, linking up with a training camp at Ao Nang Beach near the town of Krabi in the south of the country.

Mr Garth explained that while Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, had a much higher profile with the likes of MMA star Conor McGregor now global figures, Muay Thai was, while similar, a much more traditional form of combat.

He said that as Thailand's national sport, it had a massive following in that country and Luke would have a fantastic opportunity to develop his skills.

And the hard work he has put in at the training camp has already paid off with fine showings in two contests he has already fought out there.

In the first one, Luke was edged out by a vastly more experienced fighter who had more than 100 bouts under his belt, then he was victorious in his second fight against an opponent who had fought more than 40 previous contests.

When he eventually returns to the UK, Mr Garth said Luke had the potential to target title belts and would hopefully realise his rich promise in this very tough sport.

Any local businesses or individuals who might be interested in sponsoring Luke are asked to contact his coach on 01539 735556.