Dalton Smith won the British light-welterweight title outright - and reinforced his credentials as a future world champion - by wiping out Sam Maxwell inside seven rounds.

Smith did not let cuts around both eyes affect his pursuit of this showreel knockout which comes after back-to-back points wins.

Victory, his third defence of the British title, means 15-0 Smith has now won the Lonsdale belt outright while also picking up the Commonwealth title, and he can look ahead to making moves on the world stage. 

After being roared to the crowd by his noisy hometown crowd, Smith made a fast start and was looking to land with big shots from the off. He even nearly pushed Maxwell over the top rope after surging towards him with one particularly zealous attack.

Maxwell, meanwhile, seemed tentative, boxing behind a long left hand, attempting to land with jabs. But it was doing nothing to slow down Smith’s forward forays. Maxwell already had a sizeable swelling under the right eye when he sat down at the end of the round.

And Smith really began to turn the screw in the second, holding his feet more and attempting to time his right hand over Maxwell’s jab. He managed it a number of times and it looked like an early stoppage could be on the cards.

The pace slowed in the third but burst into life in the final 10 seconds of the round with Smith landing a big left hook to the chest. However, Maxwell replied with a firm right hand, his biggest shot of the fight, which provided some much-needed confidence.

However he was unable to build on it in the fourth as Smith began to fire his counter right hands with even more venom. But Maxwell did receive another boost in the fifth when a clash of heads resulted in a very nasty cut above Smith’s right eye.

With blood streaming down his face, Smith began to apply more pressure while Maxwell started to throw caution to the wind with Smith clearly bothered by the wound. But Smith’s corner did an incredible job on it during the break and he was barely bleeding as he got to work in the sixth,

And it was a big one for Smith, who forced Maxwell to touch down with a right uppercut although referee Kevin Parker did not pick it up. Smith then poured forward in search of a finish but the Liverpudlian challenger did very well to hang in there until the end of the round.

But it was a very different story in round seven as Smith crashed a huge right hand into the side of Maxwell’s head which caused his legs to buckle. Parker began to administer the count but waved it off pretty quickly as he realised how badly Maxwell was hurt. The official time of the stoppage was 1:34 of round seven.

Smith, who paused his celebrations until he knew Maxwell was OK, said: “It was the first time I’ve had a cut and felt the blood pouring. And I thought ‘this is why I’m a warrior and this is what I’m made for’.

“But I smelt blood and thought ‘this is where I turn it up’. I needed critics asking me if I was that good and I needed Sam to bring this out of me.

“In my career I want to become a world champion but I made a bit of history in my city to win the British title outright.”

Eddie Hearn said: “The cuts changed the fight and made Dalton Smith more aggressive.

In this sport people always want to question you. He has produced a knockout that will go viral around the world and will put the division on notice.

That was the sort of performance and knockout that makes a statement.”

In the chief support, Pat McCormack needed just four rounds to end the first fight scheduled for 10 of his career.

In truth, the Commonwealth Games champion and Olympic silver medalist could have finished this inside one, when he wobbled Dixon badly within just two minutes of the opening bell.

He could not quite find the finish then but it was more of the same in the second with Dixon getting countered hard every time he dared to throw. Rounds three and four were little more than target practice for McCormack, whose hand speed ensured he was having it all his own way.

And he found what turned out to be the finishing shot in the final seconds of round four, dropping Dixon with an overhand right which was also the first knockdown of the entire show in Sheffield.

Dixon was on his feet in time to answer Michael Alexander’s count but the bell to end the round had already gone. However, his corner decided to end the contest there and then instead of sending their man out for any more punishment.

McCormack said: “I knew I was going to get him, it didn’t matter when. I’m happy with the performance. I was waiting for him to over commit with the jab and I landed the clean back hand. It was perfect.

“I’m going to go down to welterweight, I make the weight easy. I’ll be on the charge for world titles at welterweight.”

His trainer Ben Davison said: “When you’re working with a prospect as good as Pat you have to take it step by step. There are boxes you want to tick. We will sit back and have a discussion about who is next but of all the lads I’ve worked with, out of everybody, Pat may turn out to be the best of the lot.”