Sheffield Super-Lightweight star Dalton Smith can take another step closer to winning the prestigious British Title outright when he makes the second defence of his belt against Billy Allington at the Motorpoint Arena Nottingham this Saturday February 18, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia and New Zealand).
One of the hottest young properties in world boxing, ‘Thunder’ (13-0, 10 KOs) enjoyed a stellar 2022, winning all four of his fights in impressive fashion and picking up the WBC International Silver and British Super-Lightweight Titles to further cement himself as a World Champion in waiting.
In what is sure to be his first headline fight of many at the Utilita Arena Sheffield, Smith landed the prestigious Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt by outclassing and finishing local rival Sam O’maison in six rounds to collect his fourth pro title in August.
The 26-year-old former amateur sensation rounded off an incredible 2022 by successfully defending his British 140lbs crown for the first time against Birmingham’s Kaisee Benjamin at Manchester Arena last November and 2023 promises to be an even bigger year for the Sheffield Wednesday fanatic.
“The British Title has a lot of history,” said Smith. “Every British fighter wants it and I’ve always said I want the British Title for keeps. I think it was after the O’maison win when I got home and I was looking at the belt and that’s when it hit me, what I’d achieved. That’s when it really hit me. I remember watching the ringwalk back thinking, ‘wow’, if that’s what I can do in my first headliner then there’s going to be some special nights coming.
“Billy Allington is my next opponent. Billy is experienced, he’s durable and I’m expecting him to be fit, he’s got a good work rate. I just feel Billy will struggle with the movement, the angles, the power and the speed. I think slowly over the rounds he’ll run out of ideas. The British Title is definitely staying with me. The longer the fight goes on the more I’ll suss him out. I’m very confident I can get this one finished within the distance.”
Smith put pen to paper on a new multi-fight promotional deal with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing in December that will see him fight exclusively on DAZN in 2023. The former Team GB standout, who is managed by STN Sports, believes he has the perfect team behind him to help push him towards the very top of the 140lbs division.
“When my contract was up everyone was on me,” said Smith. “There was a lot of attention, and a lot of promoters were after me. It was nice to see because it proved my name is getting out there and I’m showing people what Dalton Smith is about. The top promoters are wanting me in their stables so it shows that the hard work is paying off.
“The team that Matchroom have behind them, that’s where I’ve been since I had my debut in Nottingham. It’s not just Eddie and Frank, it filters down to the media team, the ticket girls and that. Everyone gets on and it’s good vibes. I’ve got one of the best teams in boxing, and that’s their job to go out and do their best for me and that’s what they’re doing.
“The nights I’ve dreamt of are within touching distance for me now. For 18 months I’ve got to work hard. I always work hard but this is the most crucial time for me in my career. If you want something, this is how it is. It’s true grit and hard work. I believe I’ve got the talent. I believe I’m going to be up there with the very best Sheffield has produced. So I’ve got to handle that pressure. There’s some big nights coming.”
Smith vs. Allington is part of a big night of action in Nottingham, local hero Leigh Wood (26-2, 16 KOs) puts his WBA Featherweight World Title on the line against Mexican dangerman Mauricio Lara (25-2-1, 18 KOs) in the main event, Irish Lightweight hope Gary Cully (15-0, 9 KOs) takes on the USA’s Wilfredo Flores (10-0-1, 5 KOs) for the vacant WBA Intercontinental Title, Gravesend Cruiserweight Cheavon Clarke (4-0, 4 KOs) fights late replacement Israel Duffus (20-8, 17 KOs), former European Super-Bantamweight Champion Gamal Yafai (19-2, 11 KOs) begins 2023 with a ten-rounder against Argentina’s Diego Alberto Ruiz (23-6-1, 12 KOs), Northampton’s Kieron Conway (18-3-1, 4 KOs) meets Portugal’s Jorge Silva (21-7, 12 KOs) over eight rounds at Super-Middleweight, Rotherham Super-Welterweight talent Junaid Bostan (4-0, 4 KOs) fights for the third time under the Matchroom banner, popular Mansfield Super-Bantamweight Nico Leivars (3-0-1) squares off against Spain’s Alberto Motos (2-0) over six rounds, Commonwealth Super-Lightweight Champion Sam Maxwell (16-1, 11 KOs) faces Shaun Cooper (13-4) over six rounds and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Aaron Bowen makes his professional debut at Middleweight against Mathieu Gomes (5-4, 5 KOs).
Limited remaining tickets for Wood vs. Lara can be purchased via Stage Front.