Pics supplied by K-Star Academy
A talented Muay Thai fighter from Kingstanding’s K-Star Fight Academy is undergoing his final preparations for the WBC Junior World Championships in Italy.
However, the dedicated 16-year-old is required to pay his own way to the two week overseas competition and fund his own hotel and training facilities.
In March, Gene notched up the most impressive win of his fledgling career when he won his recent British title after taking an away bout against an opponent with just six hours notice.
After a last minute call to compete, and squeezing in a family party and a morning at work before heading to the championship in Warrington, Smith defeated his opponent with grit, determination, and some excellently placed reverse elbow shots.
Gene’s father Roland said: “Venice is an amazing opportunity as he will meet the best elite fighters from around the world at his weight to compete against.
“As he moves forward being part of such a prestige team like the England WBC proves his ability at the level he’s at.
“He competed to be part of it and he will be alongside the best of the best of the country’s Muay Thai fighters from the UK.
“However, we need sponsors so anyone who is interested in helping will get named on his fight shirts and on social media as he moves forward to his professional future in the sport. Being an elite athlete costs money whether it is his diet or training facilities.”
He said: “I still can’t believe I took a fight with six hours notice against a world champion quality fighter and won. So, I am going to Venice on a bit of a high.
“It shows you have to be ready for anything in elite sports, fighting for my country is a really special feeling and I can’t wait to meet up with the rest of my teammates in Venice.
“This is an individual sport so when the opportunity comes to have that team dynamic it is really special, we all support one another.”
Gene previously fought in Canada and gained valuable experience despite not winning the tournament.
His first gym was College Road in 1993 where Gene now instructs fighters as well as training for his own fights.
K-Star now has gyms in the city centre, Quinton, Sheldon, and Solihull – and are preparing to open a new training centre in Walsall this summer.
The now WKA British Champion Gene Smith has received sponsorship from 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.
Any sponsors interested in helping Gene Smith as he prepares for the WBC Junior World Championship should email email@example.com
For more on K-Star Academy visit www.k-starthaiboxing.com