Thai Boxing is done in a ring, like conventional boxing, but brings in a full range of martial arts techniques. Competitors can knee, kick and elbow each other in an attempt to knock their opponents out.

Kevin was thrilled to take the title - but said the fight nearly had a very different outcome. "I got cut over my right eye early in the fight from a clash of heads and it was feared the referee would stop the contest. The ref came over to my corner at the end of round one and said that he would have to let the doctor have a look at it. My corner pleaded with him not to do so and asked him to give me one more round.

"He reluctantly agreed. I was instructed to go out in the second round and knock him out. Luckily the cut stopped bleeding, the fight went the distance and I eventually won by a unanimous points decision."

Kevin got into Thai boxing as a way of getting fit for football after he had a serious car accident at the age of 13. He said: "My brother-in-law was doing Thai boxing to keep fit and I walked into the gym and it felt right, so I carried it on and ditched the football."

Kevin trains under Thai boxing legend Keith "Pele" Nathan at Pele's Beastmasters gym in Altrincham and juggles his sport with his job as a PE teacher, which means his days often start early. He said: "It generally starts at about five in the morning with a long run, then I train weights at seven with Martin Cullen at Total Fitness, who is my power coach. I then go to work and finish with a training session with Pele in the evenings."

He chose to study at Edge Hill after completing his degree at Manchester University in Leisure and Business and Management.

He said: "I wanted to be a PE teacher and all the information I got showed Edge Hill offered one of the best

courses. At college though I had a very bad knee injury and had my right knee reconstructed. The staff were brilliant, and despite the injury I had a really good time. I had a really good group of friends and we all had a fantastic camaraderie."

Kevin, 26, is now Head of Boys' PE at Cansfield Community High School in Ashton in Makerfield, Wigan, and his pupils enjoy his sporting success. "They like it," he said. "It makes them realise there is success to be gained through sport."

As for the future, Kevin has big plans. "I'd like to start collecting other world titles from other organisations and in different weight divisions and I would love to fight in Japan where all the serious money is for the sport."