A FORMER Winton student is preparing to flex his muscle in the ‘entertainment capital of the world’ and fulfill his dream of becoming a world champion arm wrestler.

Marvin Palmer is aiming for a place in the finals of the World Armwrestling League (WAL) tournament in Las Vegas, where he hopes to become world champion and possibly earn up to £100,000 in the process.

The dad-of-three, who was raised in Andover, but now lives in Christchurch, can secure himself a place in the mega-money tournament if he can overpower his rivals in a European qualifier in March.

If he does qualify, it will be a sweet rise to success for the 38-year-old ‘heavyweight’, who only took up the sport ten years ago following a chance arm wrestle with his old boss.

He said: “I was working for a scaffolding company and my boss there used to be an arm wrestler.

“One day he said to me, “you look pretty strong” let’s have an arm wrestle.

“He hadn’t lost in 20 years and I beat him, so he offered to show me some proper techniques.

“From there we got some guys together and some tables and we set up our own club.”

Marvin, a former bouncer, began to practice with the club each week.

He also carried on with his own gruelling strength training and began to enter, and win, novice competitions.

Five years after starting the sport, Marvin began to throw his weight around in bigger and better competitions, eventually clinching victory in the 2010 British Championships in Preston.

The father-of-three upped his game again, turning professional before clinching the number one heavyweight spot in the Arm Wars super series.

But now the ambitious arm-wrestler is hunting a new challenge and believes that he has what it takes to go to the distance in Las Vegas.

He said: “I’ll be big for my weight category at 102kg.

“I haven’t really got any weaknesses – I’m fast, I’ve got long leverage, and big hands.

“There was a time when I needed to become more focused, more technical, and stronger.

“But I’ve got a few good few ticks in the box now.”

Asked what he enjoyed about arm-wrestling, he added: “It’s a combat sport and I’ve always liked combat sport.

“It’s about beating and pinning your opponent down.

“It’s also very technical too. Technique is just as important.”