Michael Witt probably thought he was done with pre -season training when he retired from Rugby. He was wrong – at basically the same time all NRL players were completing a gruelling pre-season Witt was in heavy work himself – preparing for his professional boxing debut on March 14.
“I thought I had escaped the dreaded pre season, but my boxing preparation has felt very much like a pre-season all over again,” Witt said.
“But it’s been very enjoyable.”
Witt has plenty to prove come Saturday night.
“Ultimately I would love to fight Quade Cooper so this is a stepping stone to that.
“By no means am I overlooking Cain Buckland, but I would like to fight some one like Quade Cooper down the track.
“I actually put my hand up to fight Quade on the recent footy show fight night but after he was injured that ended any chance of that happening.
In readiness for his debut against Cain Buckland, Witt has worked with Brendon Smith in Toowoomba and Les Sherrington on the Gold Coast.
“I have a wealth of knowledge to learn from those two men,” Witt said.
“I’ve learnt so much from both in such a short period of time, I have no gauge on how well I’m going because I’ve never done anything like this before.
“But I feel as prepared as I can be.”
Les Sherrington, who recently missed out on his biggest fight opportunity in England due to a foot injury, has enjoyed working with the former NRL star.
“It’s been great,” Sherrington said.
“I was really down in the dumps about missing my big fight in England and then Brendon called and asked if I would help him prepare Michael Witt for his pro debut.
“At the time it was the best news I could’ve heard.
“I’ve loved working with Mick, albeit in a moon boot, but it’s been enjoyable and he’s so easy to train.
“With his professional rugby league background, he has a great work ethic.
“I’ve been impressed with his skills in the ring. He’s a great listener and you only have to show him something once and he adapts so quickly.
“I can’t wait to see him fight on March 14.
“It will be a proud moment for me to walk to the ring with him and be in his corner with Brendon Smith.”
Click here to watch a video clip of Michael Witt talking about his pro debut
With Michael Witt living on the Gold Coast, Brendon Smith had no hesitation in asking Sherrington, who is also trained by Smith, to oversee Witt’s preparation on the Coast.
“Les is a great teacher and I knew Michael could learn plenty from him,” Smith said.
“Les has played a huge role in Michael’s preparation and I’ll be relying on him heavily in the corner come fight night.
It will be a special moment for Michael Witt and Brendon Smith on March 14 and almost a case of deja vu.
“I trained Michael as an amateur when he was just a kid, he won six of his nine fights, now to go full circle and re-unite is special to me,”Brendon Smith said.
“He’s such an athlete and very gifted.
“Trust me you won’t see a footy player in the boxing ring, Michael Witt is a boxer and you will see that on March 14.
“Cain Buckland is in good hands with Peter Leisagang and Steve Deller so we need to be ready for a tough fight,
“I think Michael will do well and who knows hopefully we can make a super fight between himself and Quade Cooper.
“It’s a very realistic option and one I will explore.
“Imagine hosting Michael Witt vs Quade Cooper in Toowoomba or even New Zealand where Michael is still a much loved figure after his playing days with the New Zealand Warriors.
“But at the moment we can’t think about that, and we’re not – our only thoughts are on Cain Buckland.