TEENAGE Thai boxing world champion Joe Ryan is on top of the world after beating highly rated Cypriot fighter Kyriakos.

The 13-year-old, from West Kirby, who became the first Yokkao junior world champion last November by defeating Dutch number 1 Jayden Entingh, returned to the scene of his victory to defend his title at the Barnsley Metrodome.

Joe, at student at St Anselm's College in Birkenhead, who is trained by dad Karl at the nearby Two Brothers Muay Thai gym, has been fighting since the age of six.

Last year, as well as becoming for the first Yokkao junior world champion, he won a gold medal for Team GB in Bangkok in the summer.

Karl, who also trains Joe’s younger brother Karl jnr,  said: "2017 was a fantastic year for Joe, but this is an incredible way to start 2018.

"He goes into every fight confident he can win, but that doesn’t stop him putting the hard work in between bouts. He doesn’t take any opponent for granted.

"I am so proud to watch him both as his trainer and his dad, and the other fighters at the gym are incredible with him. 

"People from our gym and from other gyms message us telling me how much they are inspired by Joe. It’s absolutely amazing!"

Two Brothers Muay Thai gym in Birkenhead runs regular classes for adults and children from the age of five upwards.

For more information, visit the Facebook page 2 Brothers Muay Thai Gym, go to 2BrothersMuayThai.com or call 07816 972453.