Sheffield boy, 13, eyes world kickboxing title in bid to become ‘the greatest of all time’
A 13-year-old Sheffield boy who has won several world kickboxing titles has set his sights on another global crown in his quest to secure legendary status in the sport.
Tyler Hourihan of Woodhouse has been a part of the kickboxing world since the age of three, and with world titles including Muay Thai and K-1 under his belt over the years, there's no stopping him.
The UTC Olympic Legacy Park student recently defeated Freddie Fisher, the best K-1 fighter in the SuperFight Series Championship in the category, and is tipped to be the next generation superstar.
Now he is fighting on the Hammersmith Time Show in a K-1 SuperFight in Walsall on October 2 – the fight that Tyler has been preparing physically and mentally for.
K-1 is a sport which combines the most skillful elements of all martial arts, and it is designated as a representation of karate, kickboxing, and kung fu.
Tyler said: "I want to show my spot as a K-1 champion and to show the world who I am and what I'm made of.
"I am very prepared. I've been training like a beast, putting in everything and everyday in the work.
"I don't think there's like a time where I'd just switch out like every second, every minute, I'm always thinking about it."
Tyler takes his training seriously, getting up at 6am every day, including weekends, to go for a run and train at Riley's Boxing Gym after school where he is trained by the legendary former fighter, Rob Riley.
On weekends, he makes the trip to Leeds to train with his striking coach and Muay Thai fighter, Simon Chu.
Asked if he was pressured to win, he said: "I don't see it as a pressure. I believe in myself and my abilities, and I believe there's not a person in the world that can beat me at all.
"After I win this, I'm going to keep fighting, keep training, more fights will come up and I will keep putting in the work until I become the greatest of all time and everyone knows my name."
It helps to have a strong support system, said Tyler, as he is being coached by the closest person to him, his own father, Peter Hourihan, 36.
Peter, who has been in the mixed martial arts world for 25 years and is now the head coach at Team Outkast, said Tyler is going into the fight with a K-1 Dutch style.
He said: "I've been working a lot on his strength and his condition, and he's been training really, really hard and he's been putting in a lot of work, four hours a day... he's looking like an animal, an absolute animal.
"I am amazingly proud of him. Not just about what he has achieved, but the amount of discipline the boy has. He's got so much respect, loyalty, and honour.
"I think it's brilliant that a 13-year-old just commits to his sport and he is going to grow up to be a great young man and an amazing world champion."
Asked if he ever became concerned about his son's physical wellbeing after a fight, he quipped: "Not at all. I'm just scared for his opponents."