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Asis-Fukuhara Goes To a Draw, Brayd Smith Wins Huge

By Glen McCullough

TOOWOOMBA boxers experienced the agony and the ecstasy after last night's feverish Rumours International fight card ended on a spectacular and controversial note.

Brayd "The Great White" Smith reached another career high when he claimed the WBC World Youth Silver featherweight title with a devastating first-round stoppage of Argentina's Gabriel Altarejos.

But the mood was tempered for Smithy's Gym supporters after Jack Asis was held to a contentious majority draw by Japan's Hirohito Fukukara in their WBC Asia Council Continental super featherweight title bout.

Asis was shooting for his ninth consecutive victory and another vital step up the world rankings but he struck a stubborn opponent in Fukukara.

Asis was the busier of the two fighters in the first half of their 10-round battle before Fukukara began working into the contest.

But a dramatic ninth round produced the biggest fight moment when the visitor dropped Asis mid-round.

Asis showed immense courage and strength to regather himself after a mandatory standing eight count and then had the audacity to sting Fukukara with a number of desperate blows before the bell.

The pair fought out a savage last round with Asis finishing his fight strongly.

Many experienced ringside observers believed Asis had done enough to gain the judge's decision but the scorecards told a different story.

Judge Tony Kettlewell marked Asis a clear 97-92 winner but his colleagues Adam Height and Phil Austin both saw the fight as a 94-94 draw with their majority decision leaving Asis and Fukuhara to share the honours.

Asis's cause wasn't helped by a penalty point deduction in round nine which left his trainer-manager Brendon Smith perplexed.

"I couldn't understand the decision to take the point of Jack," Smith said.

"Full marks to both boys on a great fight and I commend Jack for the courage he showed to recover from that shot in round eight.

"I honestly believe he did enough to win the fight and I can't understand how two judges saw it so differently."

Asis's gripping battle was in contrast to Smith's demolition of Altarejos with a savage body shot 1:57 seconds into their fight.

The win stretched Smith's unbeaten pro record to 7-0 in his first outing since suffering a broken hand in his previous March fight.

"It's a dream come true," Smith said.

"This is a massive title.

"I couldn't be more happy to do it like that.

"It's been a long six months.

"I've broken my hand in my last two fights but to get back in he ring injury free and win through like that, I'm absolutely pumped."

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