A marquee twelve month period catapulted Jack Brubaker towards the top of the welterweight division domestically.
After just fourteen fights as a professional, the proud Cronulla resident is seen as the consensus number two welterweight behind undefeated starlet Jeff Horn, followed closely by Commonwealth welterweight ruler Kris George.
Brubaker (12-1-1, 6 KOs) entered the paid ranks as a light welterweight, capturing state title honours before falling short in a bid to capture the national strap against a dexterous Qamil Balla in 2013. In the time that has passed, Brubaker has since taken up the sport on a full-time basis, while also moving up in weight.
The move to welterweight has proven to be beneficial with Brubaker capturing the WBC Youth bauble as well as the OPBF welterweight title, arguably the most legitimate regional title in the Asia Pacific region. Furthermore, the latter was validated on the road with the Australian coming off the canvas to upset favoured Japanese veteran Suyon Takayama in Tokyo.
As Brubaker admits, his career has reached uncharted territory since he made the sport his full-time commitment.
“Since I’ve moved up to welterweight, it is now my natural weight and I’m feeling super strong.” said Brubaker to Aus-Boxing. “Up until the Takayama fight, I was sort of knocking guys out within the six rounds. I took a lot of experience out of fighting in Japan, being able to go twelve rounds in a foreign country, that’s the main thing.”
“I’m proud of what I was able to do, take into account the time zone difference, altitude as well as the temperature difference.”
“I fought in late July, so it was in the middle of winter over here in Australia. I went from sparring in 18 degree weather to fighting in a packed stadium – with two thousand Japanese all crammed into there – and this was all in the middle of summer over there too. It felt like 50 degrees.”
Coming off the momentum of the Takayama win, Brubaker was booked to face then unbeaten former Olympian Cameron Hammond last October. However, Brubaker was forced to withdraw after suffering a hand injury. As fate would have it, Hammond would then face Toowoomba-based mauler Kris George, who surprised many with an upset win.
With the prestigious Commonwealth title still in George’s possession, Brubaker has plans to face the hard-hitting Queenslander in the immediate future if he can’t secure a fight with Jeff Horn, who appears all but certain to face legendary eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao in July.
But as Brubaker acknowledges, all of these plans are on the back burner until after Saturday night, where the 25-year-old will make the third defence of his OPBF title against rugged Filipino Mark Sales at Doltone House in Sylvania Waters.
“This is a voluntary defence of my title and this will be my first fight working out of my new gym,” he said. “It’s a fight that I am taking seriously and will set up the platforms to kick start the year and we will build from that. I want to fight Jeff Horn and Kris George.”
“There are some really good bouts on the horizon and once I get through this I really want the domestic fights. I’m gunning for Jeff Horn – it’s a fight I really want – I think he is a great fighter. He has great skills and has done a lot for the sport. I would love to prove myself and test myself against him.”
“I feel like I’m as good as him and I want the fight, but it all depends on what pans out for him though,” he concluded. “He is the mandatory defence for my OPBF title, so it depends on that. But if I have to wait a little while for Jeff, a good fight might come up with Kris George.”
“Once I get past this fight with Mark Sales, I’m going to put all my focus into giving myself the best opportunity for the big fights. It will be straight back in the gym and I willl prepare for some really good domestic fights, which will be really good for Australian boxing.”
Photo: Damian Brierty/Visual Delight
Aus-Boxing will be streaming the entire card from Doltone House in Sylvania Waters on Saturday night live on our Facebook page.