We take a look at the make-up of the two fighters as Dalton Smith puts his British and Commonwealth super-lightweight championship on the line against the dangerous Sam Maxwell this weekend.
Fighting in front of his home fans in Sheffield, another victory for the highly-regarded Dalton Smith (1/12) would not only earn him the prized Lonsdale strap outright, but also see him move on to the European and World scene.
The hype on Smith has quietened of late, though. His last two performances, both of which went 12 rounds, against Kaisee Benjamin and Billy Allington, were reminders that you can’t win every fight in spectacular fashion.
For that reason, and given the fact he is headlining in his home city, I expect a sharp and accurate Dalton Smith to take to the ring in his top-billing slot on Matchroom's latest fight card.
7/1 shot Maxwell, a former British champion, is a step up from Benjamin and Allington, and is more than good enough to capitalise on any sub-par performance from Smith.
The Scouse southpaw is nearing his 35th birthday and any ambitions of fighting above British level once more will diminish should he lose, and comprehensively so, in Yorkshire.
So, who will move on to bigger and better things?
It's time to look at the 'Tale of the Tape'...
|Dalton Smith (1/12)
|Sam Maxwell (7/1)
|14-0 (10 KOs)
|17-1 (11 KOs)
|British & Commonwealth super-lightweight championship
|W - UD v Billy Allington (Feb 2023)
|W - UD v Shaun Cooper (Feb 2022)
Dalton Smith will carry the weight of expectation when he steps into the ring on Saturday night to face Sam Maxwell.
Boxing since he was a child, Smith has been tipped to go to the very top.
The life of a boxer is all he has known and if he is as good as many hope, then he has the ability to deliver an eye-catching display against Maxwell.
Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn has gone on record saying he believes Smith will feel a sense of under-achievement if he does not box for a world title, or indeed win one.
The signs point to the 26-year-old elevating himself on to the world scene after the weekend, but Maxwell is exactly the type of fighter to dig out an upset win if Smith under-performs.
The world could be Smith’s oyster after Saturday and the odds suggest the champion will deliver the ‘Thunder’ and lightning to prove he is the real deal.
|Can overreach with shots sometimes
|Tendency to feint too often
|Superb shot selection
|Left hand side open for opponent’s right hands
|Positions himself well
|Performance levels can drop in second half of fights
Sam Maxwell may have only had four more professional fights than Dalton Smith, but time is not on his side.
At 34, and now looking at the prospect of his career drawing to an end, Maxwell will have to prove Smith is nothing but hyperbole with boxing gloves.
Losing to Alejandro Meneses was a damaging loss for Maxwell. A win would have rewarded him with a fringe IBO belt, but the powerful Mexican had too much on the night for the Liverpool fighter.
Damaging defeats such as those can leave an everlasting effect on their future.
Back at the Salisbury ABC with trainer Paul Edwards, inspiration may fuel a lively start for Maxwell, but he will need to avoid Smith building an early lead otherwise it’s game over.
Down the stretch it’s impossible not to see Maxwell getting tagged at will because of the shots he will likely take earlier in the fight.
A positive beginning, a nightmare ending.
|Far more miles on the clock than Smith
|Carries power late on
|Defence can drop in second half of fights
|Not the strongest chin
|Vulnerable to shots down the middle
Smith failed to shine in his last two fights, but youthfulness and talent got him through.
I expect far more from the British and Commonwealth champion this Saturday, and am backing him to get the job done before the final bell.
The odds on offer for Smith to stop Maxwell in Rounds 9 - 12 will be my play.