The bout between Moralde and Smith (10x 3 min rounds feather weight limit) has been sanctioned by the WBA and the victor will be awarded the WBA Oceania featherweight title and a top fifteen World ranking.
“It’s very unfortunate what happened with Metualy and his camp,” Brendon Smith said.
“It’s one that was totally out of our control, from our end everything was fine and we did all we could to salvage the bout but it’s come down to a contract dispute between Mohammed Mutualy and his management which is still being sorted by the Egyptian Boxing Commission.
“We couldn’t afford to wait any longer so we moved on.
“I worked with WBA Oceania Secretary Derek Milham to source a replacement worthy of such a big fight and John Vincent Moralde fits the bill.
“This fight was verbally agreed on nearly three weeks now, we were just waiting to see what happened in Egypt before making it official, so Moralde has had plenty of notice for this bout.
Moralde is undefeated in eleven bouts, with 6 of his wins coming by KO. The Filpino is no stranger to big fights with his last three bouts all being staged over ten rounds. In his last bout he won the World Boxing Federation International super bantam weight title with a unanimous ten round decision over Jason Butar Butar. He is also the current Filipino Boxing Federation National Champion.
Moralde’s record is very similar to Smith’s. The Toowoomba boxer and current WBC Youth Silver World Champion is undefeated in 12 bouts.
“It’s been a difficult few weeks with everything that’s been going on behind the scenes with Metualy,” Braydon Smith said.
“However it hasn’t distracted me from the job at hand, my job is to prepare myself as well as I can regardless of who is in the opposite corner on March 14.
“I have to say a huge thanks to Dad, I know how much time he’s spent on this bout, whether it was working through things with the Egyptians as well as negotiating a replacement on top of training a team of fighters – I know how big a job it’s been.
“I’m very appreciative of his efforts, and it’s good to know who will be opposing me on March 14.
“Moralde is a very good fighter, he’s undefeated and has experience in ten rounders and a handy knock out ratio.
“He’s a big challenge for me, but I’m confident I can win this fight.
“I’m not prepared to lose the ‘0’ off my record and Moralde stands in the way of winning the WBA Oceania title so I’m very hungry and determined to win this fight.
“It will be the last time I walk to the ring as the WBC Silver Youth World Champion and I plan to walk out of the ring as the new WBA Oceania Feather weight title holder.
If Smith is successful he’ll become the fourth Smithy’s Gym boxer to earn a WBA Regional title.
In October last year Kris George won the WBA Oceania Junior welterweight belt and Jack Asis picked up the Oceania super feather weight crown. While Les Sherrington was crowed the WBA Oceania middle weight champ at Homehill in December.
“I can’t wait to fight in front of Toowoomba again,” Braydon Smith said.
“My last bout was in front of 300,000 people in Bangkok on the King’s Cup card – and it was an amazing experience – but nothing beats fighting at home.
“I’ll prepare for this bout like I have, every other bout – like it’s a world title.
“I’ve made no secret I want to be a world champion and I see this fight as a significant step towards that dream.
“I win this fight, I enter the World ratings and from there you never know – you can get a shot at the World champion.
“I’ll give it my all and hopefully I’m rewarded when the winner’s name is announced in the ring on March 14,”Smith said.