A world champion fighter is making a good fist of an “ink-credible” new career in Padiham.
Burnley-born Luke Turner is known for his fearsome blows which saw him crowned ISKA Thai boxing king of the world. But now the reigning titleholder says the gloves are off for his new business as a tattoo artist in the town.
The 24-year-old, who could defend his world title crown later this year, has opened Skin City tattoo studio in Burnley Road with friend Elliott Maxwell (20).
Luke, who has been a tattooist for four years, jumped at the chance to open his own studio in Padiham.
He said: “There has been a lot of interest in Padiham. We have had people coming in and out every day. It has even really busy in the first week. I want to create a well established shop and stay for the long term”.
Luke learned the art of tattooing working at a friend’s shop during his university studies. He said: “I got into doing tattoos a couple of years ago working at Inky’s in Skipton. Then I gave it a try and took to it straight away. My dad used to let me practise on him.”
Luke, who has been Thai boxing for 20 years, believes there are parallels between martial arts and body art.
The Leeds University student said: “Thai boxing and tattooing are pretty similar. I don’t see Thai boxing as brutal: fighting is more of an art form. I am pretty artistic. I have always been into that sort of thing. I do a lot of art, fighting and music.”
The former Park High School and Nelson and Colne College student has been doing Thai boxing since the age of six, when he had his first fight.
He trained at the illustrious Bad Company gym in Leeds before training in Thailand with champions for 12 months during a year abroad from his Thai and East Asian study course at Leeds University.
He had around 30 fights in Asia which prepared him for his crowning moment when he came up against seasoned Thai fighter “Rung”.
Luke clinched the world title belt with a stunning knock-out of his steely opponent at Leeds’ Elland Road, despite a broken hand. But, after reaching the top of his game and opening a business, he has no plans of hanging up the gloves just yet.
He said: “I am the current International Sport Kickboxing Association world champion. I am in the top two at Thai boxing.
“I want to get my hands on the WBC title before I retire.”