Sam O'maison relishing underdog tag against ‘golden guy’ Dalton Smith in British title fight

Sam O'maison is relishing his underdog tag as he prepares to take on ‘golden guy’ Dalton Smith in an all-Sheffield clash for the British title.

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 1:28 pm

The former sparring partners, who were briefly stablemates when Shiregreen-based O'maison left the Ingle Gym in 2015, will go head-to-head for the prestigious Lonsdale Belt in a super lightweight contest at Sheffield Arena on August 6.

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At 31 and something of a forgotten man after boxing just four rounds since 2019, 'The Sensation' concedes, ‘without a doubt’, some will already have written him off against one of Britain’s most promising prospects, who trains at the Steel City Gym in Darnall.

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Former stablemates and sparring partners Dalton Smith, left, and Sam O'maison, right, will go head-to-head for the British super lightweight title on August 6.

"There’s no pressure on my side,” says O’maison, "I’m not the golden guy coming through with the untouchable record.

“I prefer being the underdog, even when I was champion I had to travel to other people’s back yards. I’m used to it, it doesn’t bother me.”

O’maison (17-3-1, seven knockouts) held the English super lightweight belt from 2018 to 2019 but saw his sponsorship ‘fall through the roof’ after defeat to Kay Prospere, forcing him to find work outside of the ring.

He currently balances training twice a day under Ryan Rhodes with work providing care for children aged six to 16 with social, emotional and mental health needs at Holgate Meadows School.

Sam O'maison admits he'd fight anyone to get his hands on the British title.

“It does take a certain mindset when you’re getting absolutely destroyed in the morning and coming back after work and getting destroyed again,” he says moments ahead of his second session of the day, which follows an eight-hour shift.

But motivation is not in short supply.

"It’s the British title, you could have rang me up and said ‘you are fighting your dad’ and I would have taken it,” O’maison adds.

"A door is open, it doesn’t matter who the opponent is, whether it’s Dalton Smith or Mike Tyson.

"I would like to prove myself again against another really good fighter.”

There are no hostilities between the pair. This is, O’maison insists, strictly business.

"I could walk down the road, see him and have a conversation.

"I have got two little girls (Harpreea, five, and Ariah, 16 months) I need to support. After the fight you shake hands and it is what it is.

"This is the night I have always dreamt of being involved in.”