Melton Thai boxer’s China fight watched by millions

Iman Barlow with new fans in China EMN-151205-171558002
Iman Barlow with new fans in China EMN-151205-171558002
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Melton Thai boxing world champion Iman Barlow became an overnight sensation in China in front of a TV audience of millions.

Iman and her dad Mark travelled to the Far East to take part in a K1 bout for promoters WLF.

Following a 27-hour journey and three flights, Iman weighed in at 54.5kg, half-a-kilogram over the limit, which was enough to fall foul of Chinese fight authorities.

Mark said: “In most organisations, half-a-kilogram is okay, but not there.

“We had a little argument over the weight and they decided to take a point off Iman before she had even started.”

The huge show was held outside on a site covering two football pitches and was televised live on Chinese TV.

Iman’s opponent came out fast with awkward side kicks, while Iman took a little time to settle, but her power soon turned the tide.

By the end of the first round, the Chinese girl began to look jaded and the Melton fighter piled on the pressure in round two, connecting with several head kicks.

In the third, the pressure finally paid off, and after the referee gave the home fighter a standing count, Iman was awarded the bout and had earned the respect of the promoters who are keen for her to return.

An injury has forced Iman to pull out of her scheduled world title defence on Amsterdam on May 24. She still hopes to appear in Melton on Saturday, June 13 as part of the Assassins England v Turkey show.

Tickets are on sale from Assassin members or contact Iman Barlow via Facebook.