Sheffield prospect Dalton Smith happy to sacrifice knockout streak for experience
Unbeaten Sheffield prospect Dalton Smith says he was happy to sacrifice his knockout streak against Brian Pelaez in order to gain further experience in the ring.
The 24-year-old super-lightweight added the WBA Intercontinental belt to his growing collection, which also includes the English title, on Friday night after a comfortable unanimous decision win over the 10-5 Spaniard, who had previously been stopped just twice in 16 fights.
The 10-rounder in Austria was also the longest bout of Smith’s career to date, having never previously been past the sixth round owing to an impressive seven-fight knockout streak.
On his performance, Smith, who moved to 9-0, said: “I thought it was good. It was a good fight for me, he was a very tough and durable kid and they are the fights we are wanting – and to be able to get the 10 rounds in.
"I have said in my last couple of fights the thing I need now is to get the 10 rounds in. I was comfortable, I won every round bar one and I thought I cruised it.”
‘Thunder’, as the Steel City Gym fighter is known, was criticised by some for not stepping up the intensity after a fast start, which saw him cut Pelaez above one eye in round two, in pursuit of a stoppage.
But the tactics on the night were part of a bigger plan, he said.
"I needed to get those rounds in,” Smith, who will now move into the WBA world rankings – potentially paving the way for bigger fights in future - added.
“The commentators are always going to see little faults, I’m not blind to that, there’s always things to work on. Every fight I have I have just got to show that little bit more.”
Smith hopes to fight again before the end of 2021 or the beginning of next year, with a bout in America still a possibility although dependant on coronavirus restrictions.
A defence of the WBA Intercontinental title could be next, or a British title eliminator fight.
“I feel good,” he said, “To have a WBA intercontinental belt title, it’s a good belt to have in my ninth fight.
"Two belts around my waist in nine fights is good going and it shows I’m not fighting ‘gimmies’.”