BOXING: Jack Smith: I will bounce back from debut defeat

Chatteris boxer Jack Smith was left devastated after losing on his professional debut - but is deter

Chatteris boxer Jack Smith was left devastated after losing on his professional debut - but is determined to bounce back. - Credit: Archant

Chatteris boxer Jack Smith has vowed to bounce back following a controversial debut defeat.

Trainer Steve Whitwell and Jack Smith ahead of the 19-year-old's professional debut. The fight didn'

Trainer Steve Whitwell and Jack Smith ahead of the 19-year-old's professional debut. The fight didn't go to plan, but Smith insists he will return stronger than before. - Credit: Archant

The 19-year-old was stopped in the second round of his four-round clash with Craig Derbyshire on Saturday night, and it later emerged that Smith’s opponent had a significant weight advantage on the night.

“We got a call the night before the fight saying he couldn’t make eight stone six so we’d have to box at eight stone seven,” Smith said.

“Obviously it was too late to change the opponent the night before so we went ahead. We weighed in and he weighed in at eight stone eight and I was eight stone five.

“It was too late to call it off because I had 120 people who had travelled down five miles away from the venue. It was really unprofessional and disrespectful.

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“I’ve never been that heavy and I could never fight at that weight.”

Smith was sent to the canvas midway through the second round at the National Sports Centre in Crystal Palace and says that the weight difference made it difficult for him to showcase his skills on his first outing in the paid ranks.

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“I was boxing well, keeping the range and moving my head but he bulled forwards and the weight difference pushed me back,” he said.

“With someone my own weight I would have planted my feet and not let them bully me. I wasn’t rushing, didn’t let the crowd get to me and was relaxed.

“I just couldn’t turn him because he was heavy. He was out there purely to make a statement.”

Smith’s team and supporters were left angered by the decision but the youngster says the experience will help shape what he hopes to be a long and successful professional career.

“Everyone was fuming, Steve [Whitwell, trainer] especially,” he said.

“Steve was angry because he cares about his fighters and does so much to protect them. This fight was out of his hands.

“As you can imagine there was some abuse flying about from the supporters because they care too but as soon as I got back on the coach and they were all chanting my name.

“They forgot about the whole situation and they were glad to see I was ok and positive.

“I told them I’d be back stronger and that’s all they wanted to hear. I’m still getting messages from people and other pro boxers who were there, telling me to keep at it and that I’ve got a bright future.

“It’s all a learning curve and I’ll learn from that fight more than any other fight in my career. You always get setbacks in this sport and you’ve just got to rise above them. I’ll be back stronger.”

And despite experiencing defeat so early on in his professional career, the teenager is in no hurry to avenge his loss – and has set his sights on a slightly tastier target.

“I’m going to go back into the gym, get fit and stronger and then I’ll tell Steve when I think I’m ready,” he said.

“I know it’s a setback and I want to get back in there and show people what I can do but I need some time to work on things and be the best that I can.

“I’m going to have a little rest, have some time off, catch up with my friends and have some good food – it’s time to win some stuff on McDonald’s Monopoly now!”

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