Light-heavyweight Sam Smith, trained by Paddy Fitzpatrick, makes his long-awaited debut on December 20th at the Grange Leisure Centre in Swindon.
The 22-year-old prospect from Dunsfold, Surrey finally gets to make his pro bow on the co-promoted KM Promotions and Paddy Fitzpatrick show on the last weekend before Christmas, featuring a host of local talent from Swindon.
The former three-time national amateur champion commented on the delayed start to his professional boxing career, stating, “I started in January so I’ve been training the whole year for this fight!
“To be honest, I got myself ready many times then the show would get cancelled or the license took a bit longer to go through.
“I think it’s done me a favour because of all the training, learning and sparring I’ve had, it’s helped a lot.”
Opponent for December 20th is yet to be confirmed but top trainer, Fitzpatrick is well known for training his students for 12 championship rounds to be fully equipped to compete with worthy challengers.
“Never sat down and discussed opponents but Paddy will put me in with someone who’s durable,” said Smith. “He doesn’t believe in putting you in with someone to give you false confidence.”
Nicknamed ‘Sniper’, the Surrey boxer has enjoyed countless sparring sessions with former WBO World light-heavyweight champion, Nathan Cleverly in preparation for his pro bow.
Sniper said of his world class sparring partner, “He’s got some work rate! I think his fight with Fonfara had over 2500 punches thrown or something like that!
“He helps me lots and gives me career advice and told me all about me about how his career started out on ticket deals and stuff.”
The 175-pounder from Guildford also counts unbeaten cruiserweight, Luke Watkins, welterweight prospect, Garvey ‘Old School’ Kelly and IBF Inter-Continental middleweight champ, Eamonn O’Kane as teammates.
“I’ve got a great team around me and we all learn off each other, the 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.”
Following a glittering amateur career that saw the Surrey boxer crowned Golden Gloves winner twice in 2007 and 2008, and also a CYP champion in 2010, his plan was always to turn over when the time was right, he explained, “I always wanted to turn pro when I was a teenager but now I’m 22 it’s perfect timing for me. My old amateur trainer, Tim DeMayer introduced me to Paddy Fitzpatrick and it went from there.”
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 explained. “He still does strength work with me and joins me on charity runs that I do regularly.”
Recently married, Smith is pleased to finally make his inauguration into the paid ranks, affirming, “I can’t wait!” He said. “You’ll see an exciting fighter on the night, basically I’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done.”
The rest of the packed card features Smith’s 26-year-old teammates, welterweight Garvey ‘Old School’ Kelly (4-1), and 26-year-old cruiserweight, Luke ‘The Duke’ Watkins (6-0).
Also in action is 21-year-old welterweight, Ryan Martin (6-0); 27-year-old lightweight, Danny Bharj (3-0); and super-welterweight female boxer, Kelly Morgan (2-0), all from Swindon.
Lightweight Akeem Ennis Brown (2-0), 20-years-old from Gloucester, completes the line-up.
For tickets to the show contact Team Sniper on 07887 245 035. Follow Sam Smith on Twitter @SniperSamSmith