Ask any parent and they’ll tell you: there’s nothing more satisfying than raising a child and seeing them mature into something special.
At Tanko Management, we consider ourselves surrogate guardians to the teenage athletes in our ranks, offering them the support they need to develop into the mind-blowing, record-breaking fighters they have the potential to be. We’re delighted to have three new prodigies on our roster: Cody Ditchev, Rajan Swali and Daniel Butler.
When teenager Dakota Ditcheva signed on the dotted line for Tanko Management back in 2015, her raw talent, terrific potential, and impressive attitude were clear to see. Since donning the Tanko gloves, Dakota has extended her unbeaten record, lifted the ISKA British Title and won Young Sportsperson of the Year. With Tanko Management in her corner, she’s gone from “gifted teen” to “combat sports idol”. The trio of teen fighters who’ve penned deals with us in summer 2016 have every chance of emulating her success.
One of our new Tanko teens is Dakota’s older brother Cody. Unlike his sister – who has immersed herself in the world of British Muay Thai – Cody spends half his time in an “ordinary” job, but trains every day and picks up fights as they come. His warm, pleasant, friendly demeanour make it easy to see the family resemblance between himself and Dakota, but when Cody enters the ring, these similarities fizzle away. More of a technical fighter than his sibling, Cody adopts a less aggressive approach in favour of picking careful shots. He’s still figuring out his ideal weight and testing the water in terms of his level of ability, but Cody is loving his time in the ring and will have the opportunity to square off against some excellent opponents whilst under the wing of Tanko Management.
Tanko Management’s reach has no limits, as we aim to recruit the finest athletes regardless of where they are based in the UK. Rajan Swali, for instance, is situated a little further afield in Birmingham. A product of Dean James’ Pra Chao Suua gym, Raj is one of the smartest, most self-assured and mature teenager fighters in the country today. A revelation in both the Muay Thai ring (a Junior European and British title winner) and the classroom (receiving an offer from Solihull College to study Sports Science), he is the kind of sharp, disciplined athlete destined to go far in the art of eight limbs.
Completing the exciting new trio of Tanko fighters is Daniel Butler – a Muay Thai youngster who has already established quite a pedigree in the industry. With All Powers coaches Tony Butler (his father) and Panicos Yusuf by his side, as well as the inimitable Paul Tite, Dan has been learning from the best for seven years now, and this has been reflected in his magnificent development as a fighter. Still very much a kid in many ways, Dan is nonetheless a skilful, Thai-style competitor when he’s in the ring. It’s a little daunting to imagine how good he’ll be in just a few years’ time.
The sight of a promising young fighter maturing into a formidable combat sports warrior is always cause for celebration. The standard of Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts is on the up in the United Kingdom, and Tanko Management are hoping to be an important part of its continued evolution. Adopting the trio of Cody, Raj and Dan is surely a step in the right direction.