Top prospect Dalton Smith gets Olympic training call
Imagine having to cut short a holiday with mates for work purposes.
Then imagine ‘work’ is heading out to Rio to train with British boxing’s amateur elite during the Olympics.
And then imagine the trip has been put in place because you have been identified as one of boxing’s brightest young star and one which will be flying the flag for Team GB at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
That is the reality for Sheffield fighter Dalton Smith who is preparing to jet out to Rio as a training partner for Team GB.
First is the small matter of a lads holiday to Majorca, which the Steel City ABC boxer must end early in order to make the plane bound for Brazil.
Not that the Woodhouse man minds too much.
“I think if anyone else had told Dalton he had to cut short his holiday, he’d have been gutted,” said dad Grant, who is the head trainer at Steel City.
“But Rob McCracken [GB boxing head coach] took him to one side and told him he wanted him to go to Rio to work with the Olympic squad.
“Dalton was over the moon. It’s a huge opportunity for him.
“Rob expects Dalton to be one of the main fighters for Tokyo and going out to Rio, seeing what it is all like during an Olympics will help prepare him for four years time.
“Rob has a lot of faith in Dalton and I think this shows that.
“So he’s not too bothered about missing a few days in Majorca with the lads.”
British boxing’s amateur set up is based at the English Institute for Sport in Sheffield, where Smith splits his time while also training at his home gym.
The 19-year-old is Sheffield’s first ever boxer to make the British Elite squad and was the youngest in the group when first called up.
Smith Snr said: “Rob McCracken sees it as pretty special that he’s got a lad on the team from the city where the squad is based.
“He talks a lot about Dalton being a Sheffield lad and having the potential to do something special.”
Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, a place at the 2018 Commonwealth Games has been targeted for Smith.
He made his debut for the British Lionhearts side in the final of the World Series of Boxing last month.
Smith previously won bronze at the Commonwealth Youth Championships.