Dalton Smith is not the first man bearing that surname to land a dramatic blow on the big stage in 2022. But nobody will be able to keep his name out of their mouth after his stunning sixth-round technical knockout win over Sam O’maison at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield. ‘Thunder’ won the British super lightweight championship in this Sheffield derby, taking his ledger to 12-0 with 10 knockouts.
The first round was cagey, with neither man throwing much. A nice left-right combination and a solid dig to the body was enough to nick the session for Smith, but there was a palpable sense of the calm before the storm.
Sam O’maison got his first real taste of the power of his 25-year-old foe in the second session. A crunching straight right was peak foreshadowing, rocking back the head of ‘The Sensation’. O’maison had his first success with a nice, canny right inside but he was soon eating leather when the bel rang.
The third saw the destruction begin in earnest. Smith expertly set O’maison up with the left before walloping him with a superb right hand. The 31-year-old Yorkshireman went down hard, but rose with urgency. O’maison went looking for Smith, but ate a series of hard blows in return.
O’maison’s blood-flecked face began to tell the story of a brutal night in the fourth. Smith showed maturity and patience in this stanza, content to box his way into openings. The remarkable thing about ‘Thunder’ is the cold, calculated way he goes about his work. He is a powerful puncher but he does not rush his work. There is a real education about the way he boxes, perhaps a holdover from his days as a decorated amateur.
A slashing right buckled O’maison in the fifth, as the fight began to take on the look of a rout. O’maison was brave but out of his depth, as he ate shot after shot. Smith had mastered the art of outboxing a southpaw, and his right hand was masterful. A slashing hook just before the bell had O’maison nearly on his knees but somehow he had the wherewithal to stay standing.
A nice combination along the ropes saw O’maison desperately fire back. His shots carried little more than hope at this point. Those fragile dreams were severely dented by another left-right resulting in a knockdown. Again O’maison rose. Again he trudged forward in hope.That hope was brutally extinguished when Smith uncorked a right hand you could hear in the cheap seats. The referee waved off the fight before O’maison had even hit the ground.
Smith clinches his fourth professional title in as many fights, and by far the most prestigious. The 25-year-old can make the Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt his own if he so chooses. It is hard to envisage anyone at domestic level troubling him. Perhaps he’ll do just that, or perhaps he’ll look further afield to the best of Europe’s super lightweight scene. Whatever Dalton Smith does next, don’t blink. He can end a fight in a heartbeat.
Photos: Mark Robinson Photography/Matchroom
*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change