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FROM THUG TO MARTIAL ARTIST

Updated on September 16, 2013

Simon Marcus

Toronto’s own Simon Marcus currently ranks #1 in North America by Muay Thai Authority and #6 in the world by Liverkick.com in the Light Heavyweight category.

His fighting spirit didn’t always garner respect and accolades. In high school, he often got into trouble because he was more interested in wrestling with fellow students than participating in class discussions. He was expelled at 15 after being charged with assault.

Marcus admits to starting fights in school as a way to release all his pent-up energy and to cool him down. While he received poor grades, he excelled in sports and track and field.

At 16, a friend invited him to a Muay Thai boxing club. Suddenly his love of combat was praised and encouraged rather than punished. Yet Marcus was distracted by other sports such as basketball to take Muay Thai seriously, and was still going through a troubled period in his life. He served time in a prison for young offenders. In his cell, he pondered his future more carefully. Otherwise he was going to stay in that cell. He would become a real fighter, with Muay Thai as his niche. Fighting was in his blood and it only made sense to channel it into something positive.

Marcus stuck it out at his new school to graduation, training all the while as hard as he could. A regular at the boxing gym, he trained with a Muay Thai mentor whom he respected, pushing aside his disdain for authority to follow orders for the first time in his life. At 18, he had his first Muay Thai bout, and the rest is history.

Now 26, the Jamaican-Canadian is a living inspiration. He continues to challenge himself by fighting the best of the best. Last June, fans who had being waiting over a year to watch his fight with Artem Levin were not disappointed. He and Levin, the Russian fighter widely-considered the best light heavyweight in the world, were closely matched, but Marcus came out on top with his outstanding clinching skills.

Next up, Marcus is scheduled to fight at a Push Kick Promotions event in Las Vegas on September 29.

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