Dalton Smith returned to his native Sheffield in spectacular fashion last night with a destructive 7th round knockout win over Sam Maxwell to win the British super lightweight title outright and also added the Commonwealth crown to his trophy cabinet.
The 26 year old looks to reignite his city’s fight nights that has seen The Steel City produce world champions such as; Johnny Nelson, Clinton Woods, Kell Brook and Prince Naseem Hamed. The city has seen a minor drought with Brook’s retirement and Kid Galahad losing his world title to Kiko Martinez in 2021.
Smith 15-0 (11 KOs) looks set to be the next talented fighter to represent Sheffield who could potentially challenge for world honours in the not too distant future. He only made his second appearance in his hometown at The Utilita Arena yesterday evening.
“It is no better feeling, my hometown, my home crowd, I get to stay at home.” Smith said to ProBox TV News. “I feel like I own this city now. I've got that torch and I got to keep carrying that. Of course there is pressure on my shoulders, but I’ve proven that I’m dealing with it. And I know when pressure is put on my shoulders it brings the best out of me. When you wake up in the morning [thinking] am I good enough? It is like, no, we are going to get out of bed and work hard and prove that we are good enough.”
Smith’s pre fight camp took a slightly different route with two weeks of experience with Manny Robles in America, which continued with a further eight weeks with Father and trainer Grant Smith.
“You know what? It is an accumulation of everything.” Smith continued. “It is the hard work that really matters. It is all the hard work I put in with my Dad in the gym, it was great to get some work in with Manny and learn some new stuff. Of course no fighter is a finished product, you got to go out there and pick up new things and learn new things to reach them next levels. If not then you are going to stay at the mediocre level. I want to become the best fighter possible and that is why I put myself out there, I wanna go and learn. My Dad is one of the best coaches in the world but he knows himself when we are going through the levels and the fights are coming, he’s improving all the time [also]. My Dad rates Manny as a coach and it was just good to get some work in. I got two weeks with Manny and then eight weeks with my Dad, so we had a solid camp. I needed it and I needed a big performance tonight.
“This was a fight that gave me that fear factor and got me up for camp. My last performance I didn’t do that, but I always take the positives. The thing I needed in my fights was the championship rounds, I never really got there apart from my last two fights. It is a blessing in disguise and it will put me in good stead. Of course, it doesn’t matter how you get the win, as long as you get the win. But if I want to be selling out Hillsborough, I need to build my profile and it’s the knockouts that build that. To be honest as soon as I was cut it relaxed me for some weird reason."