B.C. kick-boxer raised in the ring excited sport now officially recognized in his home province
Josh Jauncey, ranked 5th in the world, has never competed in B.C. but that could soon change
Last week, B.C. authorized professional kick-boxing as a subset of mixed martial arts (MMA). For professional kick-boxer Josh Jauncey, it is life-changing news.
Since Jauncey was 13, he's dreamed of being the one to make kick-boxing big in North America.
This passion was no accident; he grew up in a kick-boxing gym run by his parents.
His parents met at a gym in England when his father, Vincent, was a champion kick-boxer and his mother, Fabienne, was a personal trainer. The couple had two boys, Jay and Josh.
When Jauncey was three years old, his family moved to B.C. to run a gym called the World kick-boxing Xtrm (WKX).
Vincent says they didn't know any babysitters so Jay and Josh grew up in the gym.
Josh's first kick-boxing competition was at age nine.
Six years ago, Jauncey was advancing from amateur to professional kick-boxing when B.C. passed legislation that made it illegal to compete professionally in the province.
Jauncey faced the decision all professional kick-boxers faced in B.C. at that time; to leave the province to compete or give up competitive kick-boxing.
In keeping with his lifelong dream, Jauncey chose the former and is now ranked the fifth lightweight kick-boxer in the world for the Glory kick-boxing league.
Jauncey's next fight is in Miami in three weeks. To prepare for each fight, he trains for two hours twice a day for six days a week.
Jauncy says that the authorization of kick-boxing in B.C. is a game changer because fighters can now build their professional careers locally before hitting the world stage.
Building a name for yourself locally can also attract big fighters from other countries, and, as Jauncey puts it, "to be the best, you have to fight the best."
Since he didn't have the chance to do it here, Jauncey's second professional fight was against a world champion in Spain.
He knocked the fighter out in the first round.
Even with his international success, Jauncey says he is looking forward to being the local big fish for once, so he can gain more experience and wins.