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Special: My Journey To Becoming A Professional Boxer
My name is Sam Smith and as I get ready to make my professional boxing debut, this is the first in an exclusive diary series I will be writing to give boxing fans an idea of what it’s like to be a boxer, my journey and what goes on behind the scenes.
I first started to like boxing when I was around nine-years-old. I’d tag along with my older brother Nelson who was 12-years-old at the time when he went to Pinewood Star Amateur Boxing Club in Crowthorne.
At the time my dad’s old trainer, Les Stevens, was the coach there. My Dad was a good boxer and won the Junior ABA’s a few times. He actually boxed Herbie Hide in the ABA’s who famously went on to win the WBO World heavyweight title twice in the 1990’s.
I had my first fight when I was just 11-years-old at 42kg! That’s about six and a half stone, I was like a beanpole back then!
I won the fight in Swindon which was actually against one of my best mates from school – Jamie Edwards.
As an amateur, I did rather well winning around 30 out of 45 fights. I picked up some good titles such as the Golden Gloves in 2007 and 2008, I won the NABC in 2010, and I got a silver medal in a Three Nations Tournament in Edinburgh. I also represented England in the Europeans in 2008.
My toughest fight I can remember was against Joshua Buatsia who was in the Team GB squad and has recently won a European bronze medal. He beat me by two points in a hard fight that could have gone either way.
I had one boy in the amateurs that managed to beat me four times called Jack Massey who is now also a professional boxer, currently unbeaten in nine contests and the WBC Youth Silver cruiserweight champion.
If it wasn’t for him, I would have won a lot more titles! I lost to him in the Three Nations finals, the CYP finals, and in two Junior ABA finals in 2009 and 2010. If I was judging those fights, I would have had them at two apiece.
In our last fight in the Junior ABA finals in 2010 in Liverpool, I was three points up after the first round, he came back strong but then I absolutely bossed the last round to the point where he had blood all over him and it transpired that I never even scored one point in that final round!
Making the leap
There was so many times when you deserved the win and the other hand would get raised! I used to take losses pretty badly but then I would get straight back in the gym to work on what I could have done better.
There was not a lot more that I could have done in the amateurs so it just felt right to turn professional. I’m 22 now, training with Paddy Fitzpatrick and looking forward to making my pro debut on December 20th in Swindon and starting the next chapter of my journey.