Is Aussie Prodigy Colby Thicknesse Ready To Take On The World?

Colby Thicknesse burst onto the international scene at the 2020 IMMAF Oceania Open Championships and at the age of 20 was the youngest of Australia’s four gold medal winners.

The young contender worked his way to the IMMAF platform with consistent action at the national level in 2019. Three bouts within the year extend his record to five victories with just a single blemish by way of a judge’s decision, his resume boasted three rear-naked-choke submissions and a knockout win upon his amateur debut.

Thicknesse would secure the men’s featherweight gold medal with a further three triumphs, competing from 6 – 8 March at the IMMAF Oceania Open in Gold Coast, Australia. Battling on home soil, he announced himself among international counterparts beginning with 2018 Junior World bronze medalist, Ali Yaqoob. Thicknesse secured his debut win on the international platform via third round TKO and was the first opponent to stop Yaqoob who had previously lasted the distance with top contenders such as Reo Yamaguchi and Olzhas Moldagaliyev.

In the Oceania Open semi-finals Thicknesse was faced with the burden of taking on team mate Abzzy Mahdawi, who he bested via unanimous decision. Thicknesse won the men’s featherweight final with a unanimous decision win over Team England’s Dylan Thompson, age 24. Victory over the English veteran will likely serve the Australian team with valuable insight, comparing home grown up and comers with products of the UK’s busy amateur scene.

Upon turning 21 in June, Thicknesse will be headed towards the senior ranks of the 2020 IMMAF World Championships, currently slated to take place in October and hosted by Kazakhstan. At the IMMAF Worlds, he would be set to face the stiffest competition available to any elite level amateur. Top contenders of the 145lb division include a diverse lineup featuring world champion Ahmed Gazimagomedov, with Russia’s tremendous wrestling pedigree, and World silver medalist Elaman Shalkimbeko, a strong and exciting Kazakh striker. 2019’s World bronze medalists were Swedish wrestling specialist Daniyal Shamkhalov who added an impressive new dynamic to Sweden’s national team, plus Ireland’s Alexander O’Sullivan who looks set to flourish with almost 30 MMA bouts under his belt including vast experience and consistent prominence at the IMMAF level.

Australia continues to hold position as a top 10 nation in the IMMAF world team rankings. While moving forward with a keen awareness of global rivals, drawing upon nationwide prospects with development and retention of young talent such as Thicknesse could well serve Australia’s advancement in coming years.

By lead writer: Jorden Curran

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