Smith locks in opponent for Toowoomba title bout

TITLE FIGHT: Brayd Smith will challenge Japan's Shogo Sakai in his first title bout at Rumours in March.
TITLE FIGHT: Brayd Smith will challenge Japan's Shogo Sakai in his first title bout at Rumours in March. Bev Lacey

UPDATE: UNDEFEATED Toowoomba boxer Brayd Smith has locked in his opponent for next month's WBF Youth Asia-Pacific featherweight title fight.

Japanese pugilist Shogo Sakai stepped in today after compatriot Yuki Ishizumi turned down the March 8 bout at Rumours International.

It will be the first time either fighter has challenged for a title and Smith said he was excited about the learning curve ahead.

"I am very excited to be given the opportunity to fight for the WBF Asia Pacific title in the youth category," he said.

"This is the first time I will fight for a title in my professional career and I can't wait to experience the hype that comes with a title fight.

"It is going to be another great learning curve for me and another step towards where I want to be".

Both fighters will head into the bout high on confidence.

Sakai is coming off two knockout victories in the second and third rounds while Smith is on a roll with five straight wins including four by knockout.

"This is an even match," Smith's trainer-manager Brendon Smith said.

"Shogo is only two years older than Brayd so it will be great for him to test the level he is at against someone of similar age and experience".

EARLIER: The search for an opponent for Braydon Smith's fight for the vacant WBF Youth Asia-Pacific featherweight is back on after Yuki Ishizumi pulled out of the March 8 bout at Rumours International.

The title fight against Ishizumi was close to being finalised but the Japanese boxer has turned down the fight as he overcomes a cut from his Thai championship victory on New Year's Eve.

Smith's camp is now looking for another opponent.

"Initially, Ishizumi's camp thought that the cut wouldn't be a problem as the fight was 10 weeks away," trainer-manager Brendon Smith said.

"However it appears to be deeper and not healing as quick as they first thought.

"We know Brayd will be in one corner for this title on March 8.

"I am currently in negotiations with another fighter from Japan and one from Indonesia who meet the criteria to fight for this title and we expect to have an opponent locked in very soon."

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