Father and son combinations in boxing divide opinion. At one point there was even talk of the WBC trying to ban fathers from their sons’ corners. However there is no denying the success that many have had in the sport, even if the limelight can be a difficult spot to share. Dalton Smith has no such worries, as he begins his professional journey on Friday in Nottingham, after a highly successful amateur career, with his father and trainer Grant running the corner and guiding him through the murky political waters of the pro ranks.
At just 22, he has been snapped up by Matchroom Boxing and the Sheffield man is being billed as a future star. Those that saw him in the amateurs will confirm his potential to go far. With the doubts surrounding boxing’s definitive future at the Olympic Games, Smith wasn’t going to wait around to see how the pieces fell. Dalton explained, “It’s been a long process, getting released by the amateurs, turning over and then starting training camp but that’s all done and I can concentrate on my first fight. The Olympics in Tokyo are only next year, but they [are going to] change the weights so it would have been difficult for me to either go up or down, so the only other option was to turn professional.
“Matchroom are the biggest promotional outfit out there, so to have them backing me, as well as fighting on both Sky Sports and DAZN in the US is massive for me. Starting in Nottingham as well is great, as most of the Matchroom cards seem to be at the O2 Arena in London, but to debut close to home and be able to take plenty down is perfect for me.