Dalton Smith set for tough test after Commonwealth call

Dalton Smith
Dalton Smith
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To be the best, you have got to beat the best.

That is the mantra Dalton Smith will take to the fiercely competitive Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa later this year.

The Woodhouse fighter was selected for one of five places on the England team for the Games, which take place in September.

His 60kg weight class looks set to be the most keenly contested of the boxing events.

But dad and trainer Grant Smith says that will not faze the five time national champion.

“If Dalton’s going to do it, he’s going to have to do it the hard way,” Steel City Amateur Boxing coach Smith snr told Grass Roots.

“It’s a very tough weight class – I’ve had a couple of people comment on that.

“There’s a lad from India who’s a three time Asian champion and a vert good Irish kid so it’s going to be tough.

“But you have to beat the best if you’re going to win it and Dalton knows that.

“He’s been there and done it. He’s got plenty of experience so he won’t be fazed by anything.

“He’s over the moon with being selected because it was a big goal for him this year.”

Should Smith come through the Commonwealth Youth Games unscathed, he will be back in major competition quickly for November’s European Championships.

Smith snr said: “He’s away in Majorca this week but he’ll be straight back on it when he’s back.

“It’s going to be a busy end to the year for him and a really important one as well.”

As part of the build-up to Samoa, Smith and his team mates will travel to New Zealand for eight days prior to the Games for an acclimatisation camp.

Smith will represent England alongside Kiaran Macdonald of Sunderland ABC, Everton Red Triangle’s Brandon Lee Daord, Mohammed Harris Akbar of Bradford Police and College Boxing Academy and Wodensborough ABC’s Ben Whittaker.

England Boxing chief executive Mark Abberley: “This is a very talented group of young boxers and competing at the Youth Commonwealth Games is a fantastic opportunity for all of the team.

“It will give the boxers an insight into what it is like to participate in a major multi-sport event and give them the opportunity to box against high calibre opposition and learn more about the demands of elite international boxing.”

Smith is currently the youngest member of the GB Podium squad, which trains at the English Institute of Sport, just down the road from his Steel City ABC base.

And he could soon be joined by gymmate Sunny Edwards who is currently on trial for a place.

Smith snr said: “It will be a massive achievement for our gym to have two GB boxers.

“We’ve only got six carded boxers. Four of them are national champions and soon two of them could be GB boxers.”