Rocky mum, 40, wins Australian kickboxing title
KICKBOXING: Rockhampton's Simone Offord has produced one of the best fights of her career to claim her first Australian title.
The 40-year-old mother-of-three scored a unanimous points decision over South Australia's Shannon Tilbrook to win the WKBF K1 Australian flyweight title.
She got the better of her experienced opponent in five two-minute rounds at the Rumble at the Ridge in Brisbane at the weekend.
Offord said she felt both delight and relief when she was named the winner.
"It was amazing. It was like someone lifted a tonne of bricks off my shoulders,” she said.
"It was a big relief because I knew it was a very close fight. We both went at it pretty hard from start to finish.
"She was very much like me - she would walk forward and just didn't stop. She was more of an aggressive fighter than a counter fighter.”
Offord said she was generally a slow starter and a strong finisher and that's how Saturday night's fight played out.
"I certainly let loose a bit more in the last two rounds and my fifth was definitely my best.
"It was touch and go and I knew that if I was going to win I had to do it all in that round.”
Offord's two daughters - Shikara, 13, and Sarah, 22 - were among the crowd and came into the ring post-fight to share the special moment with their inspirational mother.
Offord has now had nine fights for seven wins, one loss and a draw.
Trainer Ferdie Galguierra from Unison Martial Arts said it was a much-deserved reward for Offord, who was only offered the shot at the title about five weeks ago.
"I was definitely confident. Simone was looking as sharp as ever so I felt she had a good chance of getting it,” he said.
"This was probably her best performance to date and it's the culmination of all her hard work.
"The good thing is that Simone's always fight ready because she trains rain, hail or shine, whether there's a competition coming up or not.”
Galguierra said Offord was passionate about the sport and incredibly determined, disciplined and focused.
"She just doesn't stop and that's what makes her the champion she is.
"In the ring she has an incredible ability to weather the storm. She will keep pressing forward, she is like a terminator.
"I've been running the gym for six years and I haven't seen another fighter, male or female, like her come through here.”