Mitchell Smith is a well known super-featherweight that has already held both the WBO European and Inter-Continental crowns.
The Harrow born fighter boasts a record of (13-1, 7KOs), with some very recognisable names on his list of previous victims.
The last eighteen months have been one of mixed success for the ‘Baby Faced Assassin’. 2015 began so well for Smith, with a devastating stoppage victory over Antonio Horvatic (which went on to be voted as one of the best knock outs of 2015) and then a one round stoppage of Dennis Tubieron (who had previously been twelve rounds with Josh Warrington). Despite this, the year ended bitterly as he lost a ten round unanimous decision to rival George Jupp, losing his Inter-Continental title in the process.
InstantBoxing.com’s Luke Madeira has been speaking to Mitchell Smith, and here is what he had to say:
Why did you first get into boxing?
In primary school I was quite short and fat and it meant that I got bullied quite a lot. My dad could see it was affecting me and he took my down the the local boxing club, and from there I just got better at it. I just stuck at it and here I am today.
How much amateur experience did you have before you turned pro?
I had about 57 fights and I won about somewhere in the late 30s. I won three national titles, the senior ABAs and a couple of medals for England so I did alright.
How have you found the professional game so far?
Yeah it’s alright. I think it is more of a business than a sport. I think it has become a little bit more difficult now because I have now suffered a defeat. I’ve now learnt how much of a business it is but I do like it. I have enjoyed it so far, it is another chapter in my life and I think I have been doing okay so far. This year is a big year for me because I need to step back up and prove to a lot of people where I went wrong last year and I have learnt from the mistakes that I have made.
Do you think your style suits the professional game?
Yeah definitely. I seem to please the crowd and boxing is about getting bums on seats which I seem to be doing. I will see how I get on in my next fight and see if I can pull the same crowd out, but I’m sure I can please the crowd once again.
Having fought at the Manchester Arena, Wembley Arena and the Copper Box, how much do you think fighting on big shows will benefit you in the future?
It makes the smaller shows seem a lot easier because obviously there is a lot less pressure. We’ll block out the last performance but I tend to perform under pressure in front of people. It is nice to be on the big bills because it makes everything else a lot easier.
You beat Dennis Tubieron with a first round stoppage, was that the most satisfying victory to date considering he had previously been twelve rounds with Josh Warrington?
Yeah I would say so. Obviously it was a massive statement. It doesn’t matter what people think because you will always get the negative people that are going too criticise it but it was a big statement. Josh went twelve rounds with him and I went and blew him out within two and a half minutes, so it was definitely a massive statement and my best performance to date. It shows that when I have my head on and when I concentrate in my training camp, that’s what I can do.
You recently suffered a points defeat to George Jupp, how has that loss affected you?
It affected me over Christmas because I was in a very lonely place. When you lose you tend to find out who your really close friends are. That’s the only way it really affected me, it dented my pride a lot because I am a very proud man but it has brought me on bundles. It has made me a nicer person because I was getting ahead of myself. It has brought me down a peg and believe me, I am training harder now than what I used to do in a training camp. I think I have matured now as a person and I really cannot wait to get going again now so I can prove to people that I have made a little mistake, but it is one that I can sort out.
What have you learnt from that defeat last time out?
As I was saying it was nothing to do with how good I am or what I didn’t do, but it was more to do with my outside life. I have sorted out a few tweaks and like I said I am living better now. I was living on my mate’s sofas going into the last fight so it was a difficult time for me but now I’ve got my own flat, I’m already benefitting from it.
Would you be interested in a rematch with George?
Yeah 100%. It is definitely a fight that I want but do I want it now? I don’t think I need it to be honest and I have never been one for rematches straight away. I want to get a couple of wins under my belt and get back to winning ways. I really think George will find it difficult at a higher level, but if he still has the belt in a few fights time then I will go and get it back.
What’s next for Mitchell Smith?
If I’m honest I would like to pick up a different international title, either the WBA, IBF or WBC maybe. I would like a belt with a different organisation and then it could bring more interest to the rematch if two different titles are on the line. I want to win another international belt, beat George Jupp and then head down to feather, hopefully challenging for the British title.
Have you considered moving down to featherweight or is super-featherweight your weight?
100% I am looking to move down to feather. After my last fight I was considering moving down but I still feel like I need to tick boxes at super-feather before I drop down.
Where do you see yourself in a years time?
A year is a long time and a lot of things can change. In a year’s time I would like to have redeemed myself and show that I can perform at a higher level than what I did last year. I would like to be a British champion this time next year.
What’s the dream for you as a fighter?
The dream is to make sure that I come out of the professional game with enough money to give my daughter a better future, and to become a world champion.
Favourite fighter growing up – Roy Jones Jnr
Favourite glove – Reyes
Best ever round – One of Ward – Gatti
Best ever fight – Barrera – Morales
First fight you went to – The first amateur show I went to was just a Harrow amateur club show. The first professional show I went to was when Audley Harrison beat Dominic Negus
First memory of boxing – Hitting a little sand ball bag and it split. I though that I hit like Mike Tyson
Best punch your ever received – A lad called Liam Shinkwin hit me with a body shot and it was probably the sweetest shot he has ever thrown. Well, it’s the sweetest shot I have ever received!
Funniest personal moment in boxing – I was in the corner when I was winning a finals once and I asked my coach for a spit bucket. I don’t know what it was but it was the first title fight that I was winning, and I just spat and it landed on his t-shirt. He was pissed off but it was something to laugh at afterwards.
Best fight you’ve seen live – Liam Walsh against Paul Appleby