Cheyne upbeat for title quest
GRIMSBY fighter Cheyne Phillips believes his strong showing at the World Karate Federation (WKF) European Championships will stand him in good stead for next weekend's Home Nations showdown.
The 21-year-old reached the second round for Great Britain in both kata (forms) and kumite (fighting) formats at the Continental contest in Tenerife.
Phillips, who trains at the Fix 'n' Kiks gym on Cambridge Street, in Cleethorpes, will now turn his attention to conquering his fellow GB teammates in Glasgow.
Next Saturday at Kelvin Hall, Phillips will be gunning for his maiden British title against the best from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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At the European showpiece, Phillips was beaten in the kata discipline by former world champion Lucio Maurino, who went on to win his sixth consecutive European crown.
But he believes his valiant display against the 38-year-old veteran, from Italy, will strengthen his thriving reputation.
Philips said: "Lucio won his first European Championship in 2002 when I was 11 or 12, so for me to fight him was a huge experience – just being in the same mat as him was great for me.
"I knew that I would have to be spectacular to beat him.
"He has such a big name now that it is difficult for people like me to win against him.
"The best fighters seem to get the benefit of any doubt.
"But I went there and did what I had to do.
"Obviously I lost the fight, but coaches and people around knew that I had performed well and did my best to compete. I wasn't at all fazed by the fight."
After next Saturday's Home Nations showdown, Phillips will form part of the GB squad for the World University Karate Championships in Bratislava, the Slovakian capital, in July.