Dalton Smith looked like a star in the making as he dismantled Ishmael Ellis at Wembley, never giving Ellis a moment’s piece until he was pulled out after three rounds.
The has been a lot of talk about Smith, the 24-year-old son of respected trainer Dalton Smith. He was a member of the Great Britain squad, which is based in his home city of Sheffield, and gained international experience in the World Series of Boxing.
This was a notable step forward for Smith, as he was stepping up to ten rounds in only his seventh professional fight. Ellis had been that distance twice before in unsuccessful challenges for a Midlands Area title.
It soon became clear that there was little chance of it going that long, though, as Smith hunted after Ellis from the opening bell and rocked him with a neat right counter midway through the second round.
Two more rights found their mark later in the round, as Ellie backtracked, but Smith spent the entire third round systematically beating Ellis up. Jon Pegg pulled Ellis out at the end of the round. Steve Gray refereed the super-lightweight bout.
“I feel like I am improving all the time and going at a good rate in my career,” Smith said.
“I felt as soon as I hurt him with a good shit he would go into defensive mode, so I could have easily rushed that and made it look scrappy. I knew if I stalk him, walk him down, make him miss he is going to burn up nervous energy and I would eventually get him out of there.”
The fight was on the Warrington-Lara undercard at the SSE Arena, the first show in the UK of 2021 after the British Boxing Board of Control stopped all shows in January due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hopey Price, 20, recorded his fourth straight win as a professional with a routine points win over late substitute Daniel Mendoza over six.
Mendoza gave away around six inches in height and faced a thankless task, but had some success getting inside in the opening round as he landed a neat left uppercut before being shoved to the floor.
Price, a rangy southpaw who was a highly-ranked amateur, just picked him off, catching the Nicaraguan as he walked forward and then opening up to head and body when he back into the ropes. Referee Bob Williams scored it 60-54.
Ibrahim Nadim, a 21-year-old Ricky Hatton-trained prospect, recorded his third straight win as a professional as he outpointed Jonny Phillips in a featherweight six-rounder.
The fight was close in the main, as Phillips worked hard to get close to Nadim, but the Keighley boxer took over in the last two rounds as Phillips began to tire.
Indeed, Phillips could feel a bit hard done=by not to have been given either of the first two rounds, as Nadim’s punches tended to fall short. But he got closer in the third round and had success with some straight left-rights.
Phillips, 29, did well in the first half of the fourth round, but he was working hard to get inside and was picked off in the second half of the round. Nadim, in his first six-rounder, sprinted away in the final two rounds as he started to open up. Referee Bob Williams scored it 60-55.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.