Dalton Smith collected the first title of what could be an exciting professional career as he stopped Lee Appleyard in the sixth of a ten-rounder to claim the vacant English super-lightweight title on the Matchroom show in Manchester.
Smith, 24, is an impressively sharp puncher, quick and accurate. He started getting to Appleyard from the third round and didn’t let up, catching his opponent whenever he ventured into range.
For the first two rounds, the pair were prepared to fence at long range as the probed for an opening, but Smith stepped on the gas midway through the third, trapping Appleyard in a neutral corner and landing a heavy overhand right and rocking Appleyard’s head back with a left hook late in the round.
The power in Smith’s shots made Appleyard extra tentative and he rocked Appleyard twice with combinations.
Appleyard did better at the start of the fifth, but Smith landed well with the right to head and body and, while Appleyard went tumbling to the floor late in the round it was from a slip.
But there was no let-up from Smith, who was hurting Appleyard repeatedly with the right, with referee Mark Lyson waving an end at 2:44 of the sixth round.
Solomon Dacres pounded out a brutally one-sided decision in his professional debut over Mladen Manev, of Bulgaria, in a heavyweight six-rounder.
Manev was to brave for his own good and soaked up far too many heavy punches from Dacres, a former GB amateur. It could have been stopped at any point from the third round onwards, but referee John Latham allowed him to go the full six rounds before scoring Dacres a 60-54 winner.
Dacres was surprisingly open in the first round, as Manev, who was cut early on by a clash of heads, caught him with some looping overhand shots. But Dacres took total control in the second round as he kept firing shots to have the Bulgarian backing away behind a high guard.
The bombardment continued in the third round, Manev being staggered by a left hook late in the round.
Things never got any easier for Manev, who took a solid battering through the fourth and fifth rounds, apart from one brief flurry. Manev bravely fired back during lulls in Dacres’s work but Dacres was loading up throughout and Manev took punishment beyond the call of duty.
Ellis Hopkins won her professional debut, taking a 40-36 decision on referee Latham’s card against Borislava Goranova, of Bulgaria, in an uneventful super-welterweight four-rounder.