Rod Smith hopes his recent achievements in the ring in Sheffield will entice more young boxers to come forward...in Chesterfield.
Smith lives in Dronfield, and trains under Robbie Sivyer, a retired light middleweight,at the Spire gym in Chesterfield. His recent win at iceSheffield over Manor Park’s Liam Cameron delivered his first professional title, the International Masters middleweight belt.
Now he hopes it will spark more interest in the sport, from Derbyshire youngsters.
“Touch wood I can do the gym proud” said Smith, who competes again at iceSheffield on February 7, against Max Maxwell. “Spire is a top amateur gym. It is thriving, with loads of kids there. And hopefully this belt will bring more youngters on” the 22-year-old said on video at thestar.co.uk
Smith said he had been resisted the temptation to check out other gyms in Sheffield. “I was tempted to go with Clinton Woods, him being an ex-world champion, but I have been with Robbie for a couple of years now. I believe in Robbie, he trained me as hard as anybody could do and I am hoping to go all the way with him.”
Smith says his game has developed hugely under Sivyer, since turning professional in 2012. “Before I went there I was always on the back foot run, always running round. But as soon as I got there Robbie told me to plant my feet more forward, he knew my strength was my fitness. When I look at old-time fighters that’s what they used to do, have a war if necessary.”
Smith’s promoter Dave Coldwell has high hopes for Smith on the domestic scene and admires his tenacious come-forward style.
He is aware that a skilled counter-puncher could find holes in his defence - something that he believes will be rectified as he becomes more experienced.
“Rod’s win over Liam saw him gatecrash his way up the ratings, but we have to be careful we don’t rush him.
“We are hoping he will do a job on Maxwell, part of Rod’s learning curve, and then take on somebody like Ryan Aston or Danny Butler at another show at iceSheffield, probably on May 9.
“The middleweight division has a lot of talent with people like Billy Joe Saunders and Adam Etches, against fighters like that you have to learn to be savvy.”
Rotherham based Coldwell has signed Zak Collins, from Goole.