Pics supplied by K-Star Academy
Kingstanding’s Gene Smith has won the bronze medal at the WBC World Muay Thai Festival championships in Italy, after his final fight on Saturday 24 June.
The national junior champion, who became the WKA British Champion (under 60kg) earlier this year – after a last minute call to compete, joined Team England for the opening ceremony in which 90 countries from across the world were represented.
Gene missed out on the gold medal bout after suffering a brutal injury during the semi-final on Friday 23 June, against Scottish fighter Kyle Donnelly. Then on the Saturday, the Kingstanding Thai boxer beat Michael Rambert from the French Atlantic outpost Reunion Island to take home the bronze.
His father Roland said: “Gene fought a great fight, easily taking the first round and impressing his coach – seemingly like the fight would easily be in the bag. Sadly, at the beginning of second round Gene took a sharp groin kick witch he couldn’t recover from and in turn lost the fight.
He added: “He displayed high levels of ability as a world class junior fighter. His opponent came out to try and take his head off, but Gene controlled the speed and direction of the fight putting his opponent of the deck four times during the bout.
“As WBC introduced some rules taking away some of the Thai boxing options with sweeps etc, to maintain athletes’ safety and ensure no dramatic injuries occurred during this mammoth event, Gene still managed huge composure with a fantastic display of ability and skill winning on a unanimous decision to achieve bronze.
“But coming to Venice will really improve him as an athlete.”
Mixing with the world’s best Muay Thai athletes – some of which recognised and greeted Gene throughout the festival – attending WBC seminars about a whole host of issues surround the sport, and representing his country, will a lasting impression on the young fighter.
Gene said: “It was great being part of such a big international sporting event. But I especially love representing my country and the team dynamic. We are all supporting each other and watching each other’s fights.”
Founder of K-Star Academy and Gene’s trainer, Steve Logan, believes Gene’s international odyssey will inspire the next generation.
He said: “Gene bringing the bronze medal back to K-Star Thai Boxing Academy in Kingstanding will expand their horizons.
“He showed a lot of skill and bravery.”
Any sponsors interested in helping Gene Smith should email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on K Star Academy visit www.k-starthaiboxing.com