TRAINER/MANAGER BRENDON SMITH has thanked the WBA for their understanding in approving an extension to WBA Oceania middleweight champion Les Sherrington after an extended injury lay-off.
Sherrington has been sidelined since mid-January with a serious foot injury which required surgery.
The injury deprived him of the biggest opportunity of his career – a bout at Wembley against WBO Intencontinental champion John Ryder.
“I can’t thank the WBA enough for granting Les an extension,” Brendon Smith said.
“We take great pride in being the WBA Oceania champion and would’ve been devastated if we were stripped.
“I can’t express my gratitude enough to WBA Oceania President Francisco Martinez and WBA Oceania Secretary Derek Milham for their understanding.
“In particular to Derek, who has been of great support to us.
“It’s largely because of him and his efforts we have placed so many boxers with the WBA.
“We have three WBA Oceania champions under my management Les, Jack Asis and Kris George.
“We’re so grateful Les will keep his title, despite the setbacks in recent times.
“Not only with injury but also the loss of my son Brayd also put a lot of things on hold.
“Now we move forward and work with the WBA for a title defence.”
WBA Oceania president Derek Milham added: “The WBA Oceania has consented to an extension of the middleweight champion Les Sherrington’s mandatory defence period owing to medical proof of his injury being substantiated.”
“We have granted an extension in order to give the management of Les Sherrington time to negotiate a defence and to get back to us with an opponent to be approved and a date for the middleweight defence.
“We do understand that the injury was sustained during a difficult period for Smithy’s TGW gym and we wish the team every success.”
Les Sherrington is just happy to put one of the most frustrating periods of his career behind him.
“You can only look ahead not back,” Sherrington said.
“The last four months has been frustrating but injuries happen.
“My foot has completely healed and I’ve resumed training.”
Brendon Smith has been impressed with Sherrington’s fitness despite the layoff.
“Les looks really strong and it shows he’s done the work in rehab and stayed as fit as he possibly could be despite having his foot in a moon boot for months.
“It’s credit to him.
“We’ll build up slowly and get ready for his next bout.
“Les is a player on the World stage, you only have too look back to before his injury – he was lined up to take on John Ryder. “
“There was also lot of interest in a bout with Chris Eubank Jr.
“They’re big names in the middleweight division and Les is in the same ballpark as them.” Smith said.
Besides preparing for his next bout Sherrington is also exited to be a part of the special parade of champions in honour of Brayd Smith on June 27 at TGW & Smithy bring the big fights 10.
“I was honoured when Brendon asked me to be part of this special parade of champions,” Sherrington said.
“Brayd was a true champion and he wasn’t just a training partner to me he was a great friend.
“His passing really put things into perspective for me.
“I was shattered when I was sidelined with this injury and missing the biggest fight of my career – but that stuff doesn’t really matter when you see what happened to Brayd.
“I will be there on June 27 proudly honouring Brayd.
“I can’t wait to see Toowoomba support this event.
“It will be a sea of orange and I hope it raises more and more awareness and funds for the TGW campaign to bring a neurosurgeon to Toowoomba,” Sherrington said.
Sherrington will be joined by Australian boxing legend Jeff Fenech as the first two champions announced for the ‘champions parade in honour of Brayd Smith.