Talk about bold ambitions ... they don't come much bigger than this one of Hawke's Bay Muay Thai fighter Cody Thomson.
The Highlanders Fight Club representative is aiming for gold in a 110-strong field in his 16-17 years 63.5kg class at the Royal World Cup in Bangkok, Thailand next month.
"I got silver at the world champs in Malaysia last year when I was beaten by a split decision in the final against a Turkish opponent. I want gold this time," Thomson, 16, said before another gruelling training session yesterday.
More than 3000 fighters representing 110 countries will be in action at the August 13-23 event, the biggest sporting show to be staged in Thailand.
"The King of Thailand [Bhumibol Adulyadej] and his family have got right behind the show which is a celebration of Muay Thai being accepted as an Olympic sport and this is why it's called the Royal World Cup," Thomson's father and trainer Scotty Thomson explained.
Thomson snr will be one of five trainers in the 45-strong Kiwi contingent, which will also include Napier brothers Aaron and Lucas McAdam, who fight out of the Jackals Gym.
"It's a straight knockout event which means if you lose you're out," Thomson said.
"I've been training five days a week since the beginning of the year and apart from school work it's been my only focus. You don't get much time to hang out with mates but these are the sort of sacrifices one has to make.
"We leave on Saturday so we can spend almost two weeks acclimatising and training in the heat. From what we hear it's 40 degrees celsius in the day time over there so that's a big difference from our winter," the Napier Boys' High School Year 11 student said.
A fighter for the past eight years, Thomson, boasts a five wins-two loss record in fights on New Zealand soil. He has only had two fights since returning from the May 2014 world champs and has won them both.
"I'm in Muay Thai for the long haul. I want to become a professional fighter and also teach it."
It will be interesting to see if Thomson can maintain his focus should he meet his hero, Thai welterweight fighter Buakaw Banchamek.
As part of the royal flavour of the event the best adult male will be awarded the King's Cup, the best adult female the Queen's Cup, the best male junior the Prince's Cup and the best female junior the Princess' Cup.