GILES Richards has been given the 2014 Mai Top Fighter award by the Martial Arts Hall Of Fame.
The instructor and fighter, who teaches youngsters at the Holy Trinity Primary School each week, stood alongside top names in the sport, including figures he admits had inspired him as a youngster.
“I was blown away when I heard my name and realised that I had won,” the 28-year-old fighter said.
“It’s an amazing honour to even be invited to these awards as they are by far the most prestigious I could receive in my line of work.
“I looked around the room and it’s full of people that I idolised growing up so it was an amazing experience.”
Richards is enduring an intensive training programme for an upcoming kickboxing bout set to be staged in Weston-super-Mare on June 7, in a bid to claim the English title.
And although his original opponent has pulled out of the fight and a replacement is yet to be named, the combat specialist is confident that whoever he faces up to, he will deliver the goods.
He added: “I am going into this fight fitter and stronger than ever.
“A few months ago I fought for the area title and won that, so this is a step up in class, but I know what I am capable of and I will win.”