A REAL life Rocky Balboa is punching well above his weight, training with adults at Castle Hill Boxing Club — despite being just 13-years-old.

In three short years Kieran Cormnican has already won silver and gold at an annual competition in Sweden — and trains in the adult advanced class at the club.

His dad Danny Cormnican, aged 39, is proud of his achievements and says that the sport has done wonders for his confidence, fitness and discipline.

Smithills School pupil Kieran — known at the boxing club and around his neighbourhood of Tonge Moor as Rocky — loves nothing more than sparring with his extended family at the club.

Danny, of Cartmel Crescent, said: “He really enjoys boxing, and I enjoy seeing him enjoy it. The club is like his second family.

“One of the lads that used to be at the club started calling him Rocky and it’s caught on. Everyone round our area knows him as that too.

“He loves anything to do with boxing. He loves the Rocky movies and he always watches boxing if it’s on TV.

“He doesn’t go to boxing to make him hard or violent. He goes there for discipline and to learn how to defend himself.

“He’s got a lot of friends there now too. They respect him and he respects them. They treat him like a young man, not a boy.”

Kieran’s love of the sport started three years ago when he was taken to an open day at Castle Hill Sports Centre.

Danny said: “Kieran’s mum took him to an open day in the summer holidays and he straight away loved it. He went to a junior class and within six months he was moved up to the advanced class with the adults.

“He trains really hard four or five times a week, and runs once a week for fitness. His confidence has grown so much. He aspires to do it in the future professionally.”