Sport

Former Shepparton fighter crowned Queensland champion

By Aydin Payne

Former Shepparton Muay Thai boxer James Honey has capped off a busy year of fighting across the globe by being crowned the middleweight champion of Queensland.

Honey, 23, defeated his opponent Matt Smith by unanimous decision on November 4 in their WMC Queensland Middleweight Pro Title bout in Cairns.

It comes after Honey, who moved to the Gold Coast almost two years ago, travelled across the world with bouts in France and United States.

The man dubbed "Sweet As" finishes his year with eight fights - three more than his most in one year - and he saved his best performance of the year for fight number eight.

Honey spoke to the News after his recent title win and revealed the adversity he faced during the fight.

“I was really happy to get the win,” he said.

“I knew heading in that it was going to be a tough fight. Matt was fighting in front of his home crowd and he had plenty of support behind him.

“But right from the start I landed my first punch and cut him above the eye, I couldn't ask for a better start.

“I rocked him again a little bit after the first cut and he had trouble with his vision and I was able to just tough it out and stay on top.”

And it is safe to say that it has been a long time coming for the local grown fighter, who has been fighting in the Muay Thai discipline for seven years.

Before his move to Queensland, Honey spent two years out of the ring after he suffered a broken hand injury.

Honey said that the time on the sidelines "helped motivate him" as he got back into the ring and made the move up north to be involved with world renowned trainer Mark Pease and Strikeforce Muay Thai.

He was quick to thank the help of his coach and sponsors on the win.

“My parents were up here for the fight and it was great to celebrate with them after the win,” Honey said.

“I need to thank Strikeforce Muay Thai and my coach Mark - they've been unreal.

“And big shout out to my major sponsor, the Aussie Hotel, they've been super important to me.

And asked if his recent win was the best of his career, there was a clear-cut answer from the state middleweight champion.

“Oh for sure, it was such a special win,” he said.

“Fingers crossed there are more of these to come.”