Toowoomba’s Brayd “The Great White” Smith claimed the vacant WBF Asia Pacific title over Japan’s Shogo Sakai after Sakai’s corner threw in the towel with 23 seconds to go in the 8th and final round.
The action packed bout saw both fighters have their moments, before Smith finally claimed the TKO win in what was described by prominent Toowoomba sports writer Glen McCullough, who was ringside for the fight, as a “two man war between young lions”.
After an even start, Sakai hit the canvas late in the third round.
“I knocked him down at the end of the third with a solid right hand” Said Smith.
“He was badly hurt and probably lucky it was so close to the bell but to his credit he came back.”
Sakai clawed his way back into the bout, which culminated in a 7th round surge by the Japanese fighter before the consistent power punches took their toll on Sakai forcing his trainer to come to his aid late in the 8th round.
“He was a fit, strong, awkward fighter who was definitely here to win and you only have to look at the emotion on his face after it to see how much he wanted that belt,” said Smith.
However the victory came at a price for Smith who was left with two black eyes, and once again a badly swollen right hand.
“I have been carrying this injury for the last five weeks since I hurt it sparring Jack Asis.”
“It is something I have had to deal with mentally, we knew it was going to hurt through this fight and it did”.
“I feel it is a bit of a mental victory though. That’s professional sport sometimes you just have to deal with these injuries and I am very proud we got through and took that belt”.
This win continues Smith’s undefeated run taking him to 6-0 as a professional with 5 knockouts.
As for what’s next, Smith said a fight in the Philippines may be on the horizon.
“We have been looking at fighting in the Philippines so that is definitely a possibility but for now I just need to let my body recover and we will start a training regime which will allow my hand time to fully heal.”
This fight capped off a successful night for Toowoomba professional fighters after they all claimed victory in highly entertaining bouts. Results are as follows:
Guy Rayfield d Gavan Hornery on points
Josh King d Ben Whitaker on points
Mathew Stiptevic d James Katz on points
Allan Nicholson d Sam Williams on points
Brandon Spain d Henry Tolton on points
Steve Spark d Jacob Ng on points.
Josh Webb d Dale Ryan ko round one.
Darren Askew d Mike Reid on Points
Will Young d Dereck Webber tko round three
Kris George d Jay Thompson on points
Braydon Smith d Shogo Sakai tko round eight.
Tressa Lindenberg v Vicky Gilbert a draw