Dalton Smith looking to walk a familiar path to the top
When it comes to inspiration, Dalton Smith does not have to look far.
The Woodhouse fighter is taking his first tentative steps on what has become a well worn path, from the elite Great Britain amateur set up to the top of the professional ranks under the Matchroom Boxing banner.
Saturday night will bring his third pro outing when takes on Darryl Pearce at London’s O2 Arena on the undercard of the blockbuster world title clash between Luke Campbell and top pound for pound fighter Vasiliy Lomachenko.
Campbell is one such boxer to have trodden the same patch Smith now walks, having won Olympic gold in 2012.
And Steel City gym mate Charlie Edwards has also reached world level since departing the GB amateur squad. Edwards will defend his WBC flyweight title on Saturday night on the same bill.
There is little doubt, with having walked in the same shoes as lofty company, where Smith’s ambitions lie.
“It shows the pedigree with all the fighters coming through the GB squad,” Smith said.
“Matchroom has brought them on early in their career so I’ve got full confidence that I’ll be up with these boys in the near future.”
The 22-year-old has impressed with a pair of skilful performances so far his pro career. He followed up an excitable debut against Luka Leskovic in May by becoming only the fourth man in 176 fights to stop tough journeyman Ibrar Riyaz inside the distance last month.
His last result caight the eye and Smith is determined to do the same this weekend.
“I've got the ball rolling now and I’ve got to thank Eddie [Hearn, promoter] and Matchroom for putting me on this massive bill again,” he said.
“It's only my third fight and it’ll be my second out at the O2. I can’t grumble at that.
“I’m looking to put on another performance and keep progressing and growing in my career.”
Smith will be guided through Saturday night by dad and trainer Grant, who will also be in the corner for Edwards’ defence against Julio Cesar Martinez Aguilar who beat Andrew Selby to set up the bout.
Edwards has credited Smith Snr for putting him on the path to world title glory and feels he is ready to defend in style in what will be a tough test this weekend.
“Grant's taken me to another level and we're really confident in Saturday night,” Edwards said.
“It's a very hard challenge for us and we're expecting a real tough and hard fight. I’m ready to take him into deep water and drown him.”