Evan Jays is a professional Muay Thai fighter, gym owner and personal trainer at Gymbox in London. He’s also just 19 years old. I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with him to get an insight into the man himself.
Evan Jays: The Teacher
Starting with Karate at aged 8, Evan soon came across Muay Thai and has been training ever since. His decorated junior career consisted of winning a total of 18 titles including 3 World and 3 European championships but now wants to make a dent in the pro game with a title shot imminent.
Evan shares a laugh with the Gymbox class
I met him on a Monday, which saw him teaching in the morning in his native Essex gym, before heading to Gymbox in London to teach a class. It’s a quick 45-minute class that mixes striking and cardio. In the rare moments that he wasn’t encouraging the class, he was practicing his own technique on the bags, seemingly itching to get training himself.
Evan preparing for training
Evan Jays: The Fighter
Evan then hops on a train and trains Muay Thai at Gymbox in Holborn where I got a real window into Evan’s personality. Friendly and upbeat in between rounds, but the moment the bell sounds, something switches. He’s in the zone and the intensity is off the charts.
Evan training with a member of Team Tieu at Gymbox
On meeting Evan, it’s impossible not to be caught up in his positive energy. This energy is born out of the sheer love of the fight game and what he does day in day out. It’s a shame that the nickname ‘Baby Faced Assassin’ is already taken by Ole Gunnar Solskier because it totally sums up Evan (Evan’s nickname is ‘The Boy Wonder’ and enters the ring dressed as Robin). His young looks, friendly demeanour and positive nature don’t prepare you for seeing him train up close. Make no mistake, Evan is an animal in the ring. The force and brutality of his kicks, elbows and punches are stunning to watch.
The team looks on as Evan lands a crushing knee
Evan Jays: The Future
Despite being just 19, Evan strikes me as having a very wise head on his shoulders. He said to me that he takes each day as it comes and is just enjoying the life he has. Don’t take the laid-back attitude as lack of ambition though. Evan wants to be at the top of the mountain and is doing everything in his power to get there.
Combining the solid mindset with his ferocious work ethic and talent, the combat sports world has a new superhero on the horizon.
Evan Jays fights Gianpiero Sportelli for the 55kg MTGP world title at Muay Thai Grand Prix 20 on Saturday 10th November at the Indigo at the O2 Arena.