Boxing: Dronfield’s Rod floored by “unprofessional” rival

Rod Smith crouches on the canvas after being knocked down by Tom Doran during their Eliminator for the British Middleweight at the Liverpool Echo Arena. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

Rod Smith crouches on the canvas after being knocked down by Tom Doran during their Eliminator for the British Middleweight at the Liverpool Echo Arena. Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire.

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Two of British boxing’s biggest names called it “unprofessional.”

I’d call it completely unfair.

Dronfield’s Rod Smith’s unblemished boxing record now has a defeat on it, having lost on Saturday to a boxer half a stone heavier than him.

Tom Doran left it until a day before his British middleweight title eliminator to admit he was 11st 13lb 6oz - in an 11st 6lbs ‘maximum’ division.

Gamely, perhaps naively, Smith went ahead and paid the price, being stopped by a heavy left hook to the body in the third round. The instant the punch landed Smith sank to his knees, shook his head at his corner and then rolled in agony on the Liverpool Arena canvas.

Doran, criticised by TV commentators Jamie Moore and Tony Bellew for not getting his preparation right, didn’t seem too embarrassed over the oversight.

“A couple of weeks ago I had an injury...it held me back. I slowed down on the running” he said.

That wouldn’t have been much consolation to Smith, as he was propped unsteadily on a stool in the ring, with a doctor helping him regain his breath and composure and a TV camera pointing into his face.

He’d just started to take the fight to the Welsh favourite when the shot - Doran’s best asset - arrowed into his gut. Smith may now be wondering whether he should have gambled by accepting the fight - but he was desperate to succeed and will come back stronger from the experience.

On Twitter, amateur Shaun McNally described the fact the fight went ahead as “mental.”

Smith’s manager Richard Poxon, referring to the name of the show “Who’s Fooling Who” said it was “more like who’s cheated who at this weight.

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