Dalton Smith Vs Sam Maxwell Is A Return To The British Title Fights Of The Past

The British super lightweight clash takes place in Sheffield on Saturday
17:00, 28 Jun 2023

British super lightweight champion Dalton Smith gets the biggest test of his young career on Saturday night as he faces Commonwealth counterpart Sam Maxwell. ‘Thunder’ has racked up 14 victories without defeat, stopping 10 of his foes. But Maxwell is a cut above anyone he has faced thus far. Smith will meet ‘Super’ Sam in a worthy headliner at Sheffield Arena this weekend.

The fact Dalton is headlining arenas already shows how well-regarded he is as both a prospect and a local hero. The 26-year-old talent was a highly-regarded youth amateur before a change in Olympic weight classes and a series of injuries saw him move to the pro ranks. He has taken the step up in his stride, with no fighter able to unduly trouble him so far.


Kaisse Benjamin came closest at Manchester Arena last November, running the Sheffield man close in a British title twelve-rounder. But Smith was a worthy winner by scores of 116-113, 117-112 and 115-114. After knocking down Billy Allington on the way to a lopsided unanimous decision in February, it became clear Dalton needed a step-up in class.

He’s found one in Commonwealth champion Sam Maxwell. The 34-year-old has come unstuck just once in his career, being stopped in the ninth round of an IBO title challenge against Alejandro Meneses. While the fringes of world level were a step too far, it doesn’t come much better than ‘Super’ Sam domestically.

A former WBO European champion, Maxwell climbed to the top of the domestic pile when he beat the then-undefeated Akeem Ennis Brown over twelve rounds in August 2021. He relinquished the Lonsdale belt to chase the IBO championship and now gets a chance to reclaim something he never lost.


There is a proliferation of world title belts in boxing today, with some being fairly easy to attain when compared to decades gone by. Promoters are often tempted into highlighting these belts because “World Title Fight” looks good on a marquee. The British title is at risk of becoming marginalised by this phenomenon. 

A long-treasured title, the Lonsdale belt is the oldest championship in boxing. While there are dozens of world champions operating across 17 weight divisions, the British title crowns but one fighter per weight class. The British Boxing Board of Control does not sanction interim versions of the belt. The champion is the champion, pure and simple. It is a scenario beautifully unsullied by politics.

It is in this fine tradition that Smith and Maxwell will do battle on Saturday night. It is a classic match-up. Unbeaten prospect on the way up against battle-tested veteran with something to prove. Both men bring a belt. Both men bring a level of domestic dominance. Something has to give in Sheffield. Will the hitherto unstoppable march of Smith continue, or is Maxwell going to use the younger man on a stepping stone back to his world title ambitions. Nothing is for certain apart from the fact it’s going to be a lot of fun finding out.

smith vs maxwell fight odds*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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