World Series of Boxing: Dalton Smith back in Sheffield ring for British Lionhearts

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Dalton Smith will make his first competitive appearance in Sheffield in almost two years on a massive night for the British Lionhearts.

Smith has been selected as part of the Lionheart’s five man squad for the World Series of Boxing semi-final against Kazakhstan on Thursday at Ponds Forge.

The Woodhouse fighter is delighted to be back on home soil as the British team look to secure a place in the final.

“It is fantastic that we are boxing in Sheffield,” he said.

“In the GB Boxing squad we usually compete overseas so it is very rare that I get to box in my home town.

“It means my family and friends the chance to come along and support me and a lot of them are planning to be there on the night.

“Two former members of the GB Boxing squad, Charlie and Sunny Edwards, are attending as they used to box for my club, Steel City ABC, which is bringing a few of the younger boxers along as well.

“It will be great for them to see the quality of the WSB bouts and hopefully it will help to inspire them to see the level that someone from their club is boxing at.”

This event will be the first time the WSB has held a fixture in Sheffield, the home of Britain’s Olympic boxing programme and GB boxing squad – of which Smith is a part.

Smith will be joined in the side by Galal Yafai, Niall Farrell and Ben Whittaker plus overseas selection, Radoslav Pantaleev from Bulgaria.

Thursday’s fixture is the first of a two legged semi-final against Kazakhstan, who have a strong team of their own.

Smith said: “The Kazakhstan team is full of world class boxers but there is also a lot of talent in our line-up and we have a good track record in the competition so, whilst we respect our opponents, we do not fear them.”

“It is the third time we have met the Arlans in the semi-final and although they beat us last year, we won in 2016, so it should be another close match.

“It’s great for the people of Sheffield that WSB is coming to the city. Anyone that likes their boxing should definitely come along as they will see some top quality action from two world class teams.

“The tickets are great value for money and people would have to pay a lot more for a pro show. Every bout will be a 50-50 fight, that could go either way, and it is guaranteed to be entertaining.”

Smith has won three of his previous four bouts in WSB, including a unanimous points win against Croatia’s Ivan Njegac in the group stages.

His only defeat came against Cuba’s three time world champion Yasnier Toledo in the 2016 final of the competition.

The WSB sees fighters compete over five three minute rounds without vests or headguards.

Previous boxers to compete include Olympians-turned-professionals Joe Joyce and Joshua Buatsi plus pound-for-pound great Vasyl Lomachenko, who competed for Ukraine in 2013.