Braydon Smith: Inspirational warrior taken too soon
IF THERE is a force that decides when we leave this earth, it has got things terribly wrong this time.
It has to be some sort of mistake. This isn't the time for Braydon Smith to be taken.
Brayd can't leave now. He has too much more to offer this world and no-one can afford to lose him.
This can't be right. Not Brayd. Not now.
It is some small comfort knowing that if he had to be taken, he at least left us doing what he loved.
Somehow he managed to squeeze a smile out of his swollen face 30 minutes after Saturday night's ill-fated bout as he mixed with friends and supporters.
"A loss is a loss. But I'll take experience from it," the softly spoken 23-year-old said as he spoke as graciously as ever to The Chronicle.
Brayd was best known to the wider Toowoomba community for his boxing talent.
But boxing was merely an extension of Braydon's human qualities.
In the ring, he became a warrior at the sound of the first bell.
But he approached boxing with the same professionalism, dignity, respect and humility he approached life each day.
Brayd was in the final year of a law degree.
One of his ambitions on becoming a lawyer was to help athletes receive fair treatment in business and contract arrangements.
In one of the numerous tributes posted for Brayd Sue Hornery said he was a mentor to the young and old in the gym.
To his parents Brendon and Kerri, Brayd must have been the perfect son.
He gave them so much to be proud of.
Brayd is gone, but that pride will never diminish. It will only grow with the passing of time.
Brayd made people feel special.
Whenever I entered Smithy's Gym for a story or was at a gathering where Brayd was present he always singled me out with a firm handshake and warm smile.
He had a charm that adorned him to people.
We weren't special.
Brayd was the special one.