THERE’S no super-middleweight in Australia David Pennimpede won’t share the ring with, but when the 76-kilo fish weren’t biting, he and coach Danny Jones were forced to look elsewhere.
It saw the Khrop Khrua Muay Thai star move up a division and, in his first fight at 79kgs, claim the WBC Australian light-heavyweight title with a split-decision win over tough Queenslander Brad Traynor last Saturday.
It was Pennimpede’s first outing this year and the 21-year-old hopes it can kick-start a big 2018 campaign.
“We had a couple of fights fall through at the start of the year so it was just good to get in there and have a good tough fight,” Pennimpede said.
“No fights were coming in at super-middle so we got offered this one and I just said ‘why not’. It was a tough fight and the Aussie title was a bonus as well.
“Brad didn’t back down, he came forward and really wanted the win as well so it made for a really tough exciting fight.
“It felt like I got stronger as each round went on, I think I controlled most of the fight and won it pretty comfortably.
“It was great to come away with the win and another belt to add to the collection. Last year was stop-start with a few injuries an pullouts so now I just want to really keep busy and keep the ball rolling.”
Pennimpede hasn’t ruled out taking more fights at 79kgs, but said his eyes remain firmly set on a stacked super-middleweight class. He’s not the call-out type but said he’s certainly chasing the big names in the division.
“There’s point taking easy fights. You want to get challenged and that’s the only way you grow and get better so that’s what I’m looking for,” he said.
“I’ll fight anyone at 76 kilos. There’s a few tough boys out there at that weight and I’ll fight any of them. Jake Lund, who I lost to last year, is one fight I really want, Charlie Bubb is up there as well and there’s the big dog, Toby Smith, from Perth.
“He’s a massive name I’m definitely keen to step up for. I’m always out there to fight the toughest guys and those are the type of fights I’m looking for.”
After a belated start to 2018, Jones said fight offers have started flooding in for his charge.
“The lay-off since December didn’t help because you always get a bit of ring rust, and he had some niggling injuries in the lead-up to the fight we had to work through with, but it was a good solid performance,” Jones said.
“You’ve just got to get that first one out of the way which he’s done now so he can keep building his form up. We’ve been offered fights in June and August and October so we’re looking at three to four more fights this year maybe five.
“He’s already ranked 13 in the world in the WBC Muay Thai rankings at super-middleweight so to get this belt at light-heavyweight should push him up those rankings which is always a good thing.
“He’s training as hard as he ever as, our sponsors at Team Flex and Now Cryotherapy are looking after all his nutrition and recovery so we really want to keep things rolling forward.”