Great Barr fighter Gene Smith wins British Muay Thai title after accepting fight with six hours notice
Great Barr Muay Thai fighter Gene Smith became British champion this weekend after stepping in with less than six hours notice.
Remarkably the 16-year-old attended a family party on Friday night, went to work on Saturday morning and won the title in Warrington that evening whilst giving away 6kg in weight to his opponent.
Smith normally fights at 51-52 kg but was offered the British World Kickboxing and Karate Association Muay Thai title shot at 57kg.
He said: "I would never had gone out on Friday night if I knew I was fighting for a British title on Saturday.
"I can't believe I took a fight with six hours notice against a world champion quality fighter and won."
"It shows you have to be ready for anything in elite sports, thanks to everyone who dropped everything to make it happen."
Gene's father Roland said: "We had a family party on Friday so Gene was out late.
"On Saturday morning we got a message does Gene want to fight for a British Youth WKA Muay Thai under 60kg title at 57kg.
"He was not sure if he was fight fit but said ok, he then went to work and ate as much as possible. We travelled to Warrington, stopping on the way for a large KFC.
"He weighed in with all his clothes and shoes on to make weight and then had the headline fight of the night against a real tough world champion fighter.
"It was a tough fight with some amazing elbows reverse quality from Gene and his opponent who threw a fair few too, Gene won a great performance to become the WKA British champion under 60KG."
Gene's normal cornerman and trainer Steve Logan could not make it at short notice as it was his wife's birthday so fellow K-Star Fight Academy trainers Tom Abbotts and Simon Whitehead did corner duties.
Roland added: "A massive thanks to Tom and Simon and our sponsors for making it happen, Green Power Plant Hire, Jacksons Recovery, Foxstar Clothing, Beeches Recovery, Ucan Car Credit, 24/7 Exhibition Services, Dronesafe UK, Butler and Daughter Removals and Level Group Paul Martin."
Gene has been picked to represent England at the WBC world Muay Thai festival in Venice in June.
Roland said: "This sport is totally self funded so we need sponsors to get over to Venice and remain there if Gene keeps winning."
To sponsor Gene Smith's quest for world glory email firstname.lastname@example.org.