Smith confirms ‘Hermanator’ in line for OPBF shot in Japan

Smithy's TGW 28/03/2017
Smithy TGW

NEWLY CROWNED BRAYD SMITH WUC HEAVYWEIGHT champion Herman Ene-Purcell is on the verge of earning a shot at OPBF champion Kyotara Fujimoto in Tokyo, Japan in May.

On the back of five consecutive victories Ene-Purcell has moved to the number one contender position for Fujimoto’s title.

Fujimoto’s camp has reached out to the Hermanator’s camp to begin negotiations.

“We’ve had some good discussions and if the deal stacks up we have no hesitation in travelling to Japan to fight Kyotara Fujimoto,” Ene-Purcell’s manager Brendon Smith said.

“Herman has earned his rating in the OPBF off five big wins in Australia, New Zealand and China.

“We’ve campaigned overseas with Herman so that’s not a drama for us.

“As I said if the deal stacks up, we’re happy to take the fight.

“If a deal can’t be reached and it goes to purse bids we will throw our hat in the ring and do our best to bring the fight here.

“This is a huge opportunity and we won’t let it go easily.

“Herman deserves his shot.”

It presents Ene-Purcell with not only his biggest challenge but also his biggest opportunity. Fujimoto is 16-1 with 8 KO’s and is not only the OPBF heavyweight champion he’s also the Japanese National heavyweight title holder.

The OPBF heavyweight title is steeped in history. Prior to Fujimoto winning the belt, Joseph Parker was the title holder before going on to win the WBO World title.

“This belt is highly regarded and it’s an honour to be ranked so highly in the OPBF,” Ene-Purcell.

“It’s one thing to be ranked number one 1 in the OPBF but another to be the champion and I hope I can become the champion if this opportunity materialises.

“I understand it’s a big mountain to climb but it’s opportunities like this that I’ve been working towards for the last three years.

“I’ve put myself into a position to earn a shot now I need to make the most of it.

“Kyotara is a great champion and a worthy champion.

“However this is a fight I believe I can win and if I did win it, it would be a massive boost for my career.

“I leave all the negotiations to my manager Brendon Smith.

“I’m training as though the fight is on, if it comes off I need to be in best shape of my career so that’s all I’m concentrating on doing.

“I’m controlling what I can control – the rest will take care of itself.”

Ene-Purcell has won seven of his last eight bouts and along the way disposed of former champions Justin Whitehead, Afa Tatupu and Jong Suk Lee.

“Justin Whitehead was a former Australian champion and ranked number 2 in the ANBF before Herman beat him by unanimous decision, Afa Tatupu was a former New Zealand National champion – only losing his title to World champion Joseph Parker and Jong Suk Lee was the reigning Korean heavyweight title holder,” Smith said

“They’re all highly credentialed fighters and Herman had his hand raised in all three of those bouts.

“The bout with Jong Suk Lee was in Beijing on a dual World title card that was beamed in 68 countries across the Globe.

“And his first round knockout win over Afa Tatupu was arguably the best of his career.

“Those three results only further highlight why I say Herman has earned an opportunity of this magnitude.

“Negotiations are ongoing and hopefully this is a fight we can make happen – either in Japan or in Toowoomba.”