Dalton Smith is in America for this weekend’s flyweight unification fight between Sunny Edwards and Bam Rodriguez but took a brief busman’s holiday from his gym-mate’s training camp and flew out to San Francisco to watch Devin Haney paint a twelve round masterpiece against Regis Prograis on Saturday night. Smith probably paid just as close attention to Liam Paro’s sixth round stoppage of Montana Love on the undercard.
Smith (15-0, 11 KO’s) is edging slowly closer to the top of the 140lbs division himself and is waiting to find out who and when he will fight next. He was recently linked to a south Yorkshire derby with Doncaster’s Maxi Hughes who lost an extremely controversial decision to former unified lightweight champion, George Kambosos, in July.
Hughes seem baffled that the rumors gained any traction at all. In an interview with Boxing Social he that stated that a fight with Smith at 140lbs would make absolutely no sense as he is currently chasing the biggest names he can at lightweight, a weight he makes comfortably.
Last week Hughes took to Instagram, indicating that he is expecting to receive some good news from the IBF regarding a potential fight at 135lbs in the coming days.
Smith readily admitted that although he would have taken the fight, he fully understands Hughes’ stance.
“I saw the interview and Maxi has every right to say what he said,” Smith told Boxing News. “I never asked for that fight. That fight got put on the table for me and it was, ‘Oh, this is a potential fight.’ Me and my team said that if it makes sense and both parties agree to it then its good for the city but I said to my dad that it doesn’t make sense for Maxi. He’s looking to push on for a world title now and some of those have come vacant so I respect that.
“There’s nothing disrespectful there. I wasn’t calling him out or bad mouthing. That fight got put on the table so I just presumed it was an option. Boxing’s a business.”
Smith finds himself in an unusual position. He won the British super lightweight title outright by stopping Sam Maxwell in July and is more than ready to test his talents beyond domestic level but talent runs deep in the 140lb division.
The 26 year old has far too much ability to be pitched into a rushed gamble at fringe world level but isn’t quite close enough to a title shot to justify splashing out for a well known but faded name to travel to Sheffield for some kind of eliminator.
Smith looks more than ready for a step up in level and with a couple of obvious routes to world level blocked, the time has come for some ambitious and imaginative matchmaking.
“There’s been a few options. Harlem Eubank didn’t want it. Adam Azim’s got his European title defense next so we’re just looking at a few options,” he said. “Nothing’s been finalized yet so we’ll let the news out when it is. Nothing’s concreted yet. There are a few opponents who have been put forward so we’ll see where we go from there."