Fighting their hearts out at Battle of Kent

Last weekend Hastings Kickboxing Academy had a great day at Battle of Kent.

First up was Billy-Joe who had two fights and scored two wins, he deserves a massive ‘well done’. His first fight was fantastic. Billy-Joe only has one button, he just goes in to fight with no slow, or light mode, which means coach Carl Denne thinks this might be Billy-Joe’s last light contact event.

Next up was Jesse Matten and it was his first time in the ring. He did so well, never gave up, kept pushing, and listened to his coaches. Even though he didn’t get that win it was a great first fight, and he should be very proud, says Carl.

Jake Willard had two hard fights and both fights were ‘full-on’ from the word go. Jake worked hard as he always does, “another little champ that steps into the ring and fight mode, instantly turns on” says Carl. With a few things to work on in the gym Carl believes that Jake will be even stronger next time.

It was Harvey Hutchison’s first ever time stepping into the ring to compete too, and Harvey hasn’t been sparring for long. He lost his first fight, but worked hard, listened to his coaches and kept going, but Carl says at the end of the day the other fighter was just better. But Harvey is a little warrior and came back and fought for a second time, and as Carl says: “he went in and smashed it”. He was on the front foot always and worked very hard. He got that win he wanted and it was so well deserved.

“Massive well done and such a lovely boy,” says Carl.

HKA’s fighters who took part in Battle of Kent last weekend with coach Jenny Fry (left)

Mollie Matten fought for the first time too, Carl says: “I felt she didn’t use all her power, but I think that was nerves and she was on very late, but she was always on that front foot, pushed her opponent backwards constantly and listened. It was a fantastic first fight.” With a bit more confidence, that Carl says will come with time she will do even better next time.

Mason Oxley, is only seven years old and for the 21 seconds that the fight lasted he was perfect. “Mason was just too strong for the other lad. Kick to the face, then two head shots to follow and the other kid was out,” says Carl.

He says Mason listened and knew he needed to work on his legs, and he did, “I know how gutted he was that he didn’t get to fight the three rounds but it was a great result for him, and there’s loads more to come,” says Carl

“Jordan Hiesley-White pulls it out the bag, every time he fights,” according to Carl, “he just gets better and better, there’s still some little tweaks to work on, but a fantastic fight, Jordan looked great in the ring. Heavy shots been thrown from both fighters but a clear win from Jordan.”

Leyton Glover Simms had a fantastic hard fight, “I honestly thought he’d won it,” says Carl. The first two rounds were Leyton’s his opponent winning the last round in Carl’s eyes but the judges saw it differently.

“Leyton knew what he had to work on and worked his butt off in that ring, it honestly showed. Leyton has been forced to have time off due to injury and couldn’t train as much as he wanted or needed to. But he loves to fight, and as always I’m very proud of him,” says Carl

Last up was Nick Lelliott who only had a demonstration fight, as he has been out of the ring for a year, but it was a nice little fight to get him used to being in the ring again and he was able to work his ringcraft and skill.

Hastings Kickboxing Academy works with local schools and community groups throughout East Sussex. If you want more information on Kickboxing contact Carl on 07949 221946. Or visit our new website at

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