Boxer B W Smith aims to revitalise world crown aspirations
STUNG by a last-start loss, Australian IBF lightweight champion Brett W Smith is intent on revitalising his world title aspirations with victory in Brisbane on Friday night.
The 32-year-old suffered just his second loss in 18 outings with a shock fourth-round TKO to Frenchman Yoann Portailler (13-3) at South Brisbane in February, following a disjointed preparation.
Now the Landsborough fighter is intent on hitting back with victory against Indonesian Rivo Rengkung (30-14 and five draws).
"There's nothing officially on the line in this bout but everything's on the line if you know what I mean," he said.
"I've got to get back on track. This is, in my eyes, the most important fight of my career to date."
Smith's lead-up to the clash with Portailler was hampered when a knee injury thwarted his regular running routine.
As a result, he said he could have over-compensated with a heavy workload of sparring sessions, which left him feeling flat on fight night.
Still, he said the loss could have been a blessing in disguise.
"It's never a good thing but my (national) title wasn't on the line and it was better for it to happen then than in four or five fights time when I could be fighting for a world title," he said.
"I've had the wake-up call. I've learned a lot from it and hopefully we can utilise all these adaptations I've made in training and hopefully I can get where I want to be at in the next 12 months."
Smith's knee is in much better shape after a dedicated conditioning program and he now has the support of a renowned dietician
After training with renewed enthusiasm, Smith is fit and ready to fire against Rengkung.
But he's wary of the 28-year-old, who recently lost only on points to Jack Asis.
Aside from Portailler, Asis is the only other fighter to beat Smith (an eighth-round TKO at Maroochydore in 2011).
"He (Rengkung) didn't win that fight (against Asis) but he's obviously very tough and durable," he said.
"He can punch and he's obviously got a tough chin on him which is good because that's what I'm chasing. The idea is that this guy is going to be there for eight rounds so that's going to allow me to test just how good this latest training camp has been."
Smith is also due for a mandatory defence of his national crown but he is intent on pressing his claims on the global stage. "It'd be crazy not to be ambitious and strive for the top," he said.