Guildford debutant, Sam Smith has turned professional following a glittering amateur boxing career winning three national titles and representing England.
London promoter, Mickey Helliet signed the 22-year-old light-heavyweight prospect recently and plans to make his professional debut in September.
The successful amateur champion now trains with renowned boxing coach Paddy Fitzpatrick and counts world title challenger, George Groves as his teammate.
“I always wanted to turn pro when I was a teenager but now I’m 22 it’s perfect timing for me, really,” said Smith who goes by the alias ‘Sniper’. “My old amateur trainer, Tim DeMayer introduced me to Paddy Fitzpatrick and it went from there.”
It was his current pro trainer, Fitzpatrick that christened Smith with his nickname but his former amateur coach, DeMayer is still involved in his development.
“We’re still good friends and he comes up to Paddy’s gym every now and then to check on me, he still does strength work with me and joins me on my charity runs that I do regularly,” said Smith.
The 175-pounder claims to have adapted well to professional life and training, and has experienced world class sparring already with world title challenger, George Groves, former world champion, Nathan Cleverly, and European titleholder, Christopher Rebrasse.
He commented, “What I’ve learnt in five months working with Paddy is more than what I could have learnt in five years in the amateurs.”
He continued to say, “The first couple of months was tough because I still have to work full-time so it was hard but I adapted well, I think, so I’m used to it now.
“It’s a lot more relaxed and not so high paced, you definitely have to keep your composure more and plant your feet a lot more but you still get hit in the amateurs so as a pro, there’s not a lot difference in that respect.”
Others have mentioned the difference in strength and force behind the punches when switching from amateur to pro but Smith dismisses that claim, saying, “When I was younger, I used to give a lot of years away anyway because I was always big for my age. At 14-years-old I was always sparring against fully grown men. So I’m used to the bigger punches and strength already, getting hit in the amateurs isn’t much different to the pros. I also used to get good sparring with the army in Aldershot.”
The light-heavyweight from Guildford has begun his training camp already in preparation for the new season in September. With WBC Silver super-middleweight champion, George Groves as a sparring partner and unbeaten cruiserweight Luke Watkins and IBF Inter-Continental middleweight champ Eamonn O’Kane as teammates, Smith is proud to be part of winning team.
“I’ve got a great team around me and we all learn off each other. Sparring is fantastic as well. Probably the one who got the best out of me in sparring was Christoper Rebrasse. We went to war and he is a tough fella.
“It’s good because it gives you the confidence that you need and a lot of it is all in your head, so you’ve just got to believe.”
Dates for the show will be confirmed shortly, Smith concluded with a message to his supporters.
“Thanks for the support and I hope to get as many fans as I can to come and watch me.”
For tickets to the show contact Team Sniper on 07887 245 035. Follow Sam Smith on Twitter @SniperSamSmith