FAST rising and highly regarded featherweight prospect Brayd ‘The Great White’ Smith (10-0, 8 KOs) recently took time out of his training schedule to speak with Aus-Boxing’s Dan Smart. In their interview, the WBC Youth Silver titlist talks about his boxing background, his upbringing as well as his burgeoning law degree.
Dan Smart: Welcome to Aus-Boxing, Brayd. You’ve made a sensational start to your professional career, for the readers that don’t know a lot about you, can you tell the fans what style of fighter you are?
Braydon Smith: Hi guys, first of all thanks for having me, it is a pleasure. As far as my style of boxing goes I believe it is still developing. I have only had the 10 professional fights and I am learning a great deal with each fight and each new situation. If I had to describe myself at the moment though I would say I am a boxer/puncher.
DS: Being the son of a very well known and respected trainer, what kind of influence has your father had on your career, and who are some of the fighters you look up to in the sport of boxing?
Boxing is something I have been around my whole life. One of my earliest memories is with dad watching the pro’s train in the gym.
BS: I have been extremely lucky to have a behind the scenes look at what it takes to succeed in this sport, highlighted by training camps with Michael Katsidis in the lead up to and being able to watch live some of his biggest fights. I was able to witness the highs and lows and received a great apprenticeship before I turned professional.
When I was growing up Dad encouraged me to try a lot of sports, he didn’t want me to just box. So I tried tennis, golf, soccer and quite a lot of sports but I guess boxing was just in my blood, so when I was old enough to make the decision we decided to have a serious go at boxing. He agreed to train me but made me promise to keep my university grades up.
I may be biased but I believe my dad is one of the best trainers in the world. I am honoured to have him in my corner and if he didn’t train me, I wouldn’t be boxing.
As far as boxers go, in a way I admire all fighters that step in to the ring. There is no feeling like it in the world and one has to conquer a lot of fear to step between the ropes. Of course though, growing up my hero was Michael Katsidis. I had a first hand look at his whole career and what he did on the world scene was unbelievable.
He is definitely one of Australia’s greatest.
I also have a great admiration for Jack Asis. He is one of the most talented fighters I have seen. He has come from an extremely tough background and became somewhat of a journeyman through the middle of his career. However he has recently turned that around which is something that is rarely seen. He has helped me so much in my career and is definitely one of my idols in the sport.
DS: Now, you’ve recently captured the WBC Youth Silver featherweight title by stopping Jarrett Owen in the 2nd round back in July of this year, what have been some other highlights of your career thus far?
I actually won that title back in October last year against Filipino Gabriel Altarejos.
Jarrett Owen was my first defence of that belt. I was actually supposed to fight the Tanzanian champion however he was forced to pull out a week before with visa issues which is how the fight with Jarrett came about. It actually served as a great experience for me, to have an opponent change close to a fight. We went from have a tall lanky fighter who we had prepped for two months to fight, to a short stocky fighter.
I have a lot of respect for Jarrett but there was a lot of pressure on me in that fight to win impressively. In the end I was very happy with the way I handled it all and got the result I needed.
DS: Tell the fans three things they wouldn’t know about Brayd “ The Great White” Smith?
BS: I am currently in my last year of a Bachelor of Law degree at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. I want to be a lawyer so I am lucky to be able to juggle the studies with boxing professionally. I don’t drink or smoke. I don’t believe I am the most naturally gifted athlete but that is out of my control. However I do believe that I am one of the most dedicated. I can control that.
I can’t swallow a tablet. Three years ago I swallowed a fish bone and tore a hole in my oesophagus and nearly died. I spent a month in hospital getting fed through a tube and now I have a condition where I have a very narrow oesophagus and can’t swallow a tablet. There is a plus side though. It forces me to eat slowly, this helps a lot when making weight for fights!
DS: What can you tell our readers about what lies ahead for you Brayd and what should we expect?
BS:I am hoping to have two fights before the end of 2014. First in Toowoomba in October, then if all goes to plan I have been invited to fight for Thailand and Australia in a feature boxing bout on December 5th as part of the Kings Cup Muay Thai event to celebrate the birthday of the King of Thailand.
This is a massive annual event over there and I have been told to expect a crowd of between 100-300,000 people. This is just the beginning though and if all goes to plan I will be looking for an even bigger 2015.
DS:Thanks Brayd, appreciate the time you took to answer some of our questions, all the very best for what lies ahead for you, on behalf of Aus-Boxing and it’s followers, we wish you all the very best going forward.
Photo: Smithys Promotions