In the last several weeks, the spotlight of the sport of Boxing has been firmly focused on the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division with much of the attention on the two recent world championship fights that have taken place in the division. While those bouts for world titles and others that are referred to as being on the "World Level" internationally will always receive the majority of the attention in every division in Boxing, what sometimes gets overshadowed are those fighters around the world who are approaching that level, who are competing for championships on the regional level of the sport.
Two such fighters that are preparing to meet for two regional championships in the 140lb. Jr. Welterweight division are Dalton Smith and Sam Maxwell, who will meet on July 1st at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England for the British and Commonwealth Jr. Welterweight championships. A scheduled twelve round bout that can be seen globally on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN. While often fighters competing for the British and Commonwealth championships, much like other regional championships throughout the sport those who are approaching entering the world rankings, in this case, we have one fighter in Smith who has already won an international championship in the World Boxing Council (WBC) rankings going against a fighter in Maxwell, who has already fought for a world championship in his career. This fight also represents a unification bout as Smith holds the British Jr. Welterweight championship and Maxwell holds the Commonwealth championship.
Smith, who is currently rated in the top twenty-five in the WBC's Jr. Welterweight ratings, is unbeaten in fourteen professional fights and won the British Jr. Welterweight championship in June of last year with a sixth round knockout of Sam O'Maison and has gone on to successfully defend his title twice. A boxer/puncher who has shown thus far that he can do a little of everything, Smith is still searching for the first significant test of his career as he looks to continue making strides in the world rankings. Smith has scored knockouts in ten of his fourteen wins and is capable of getting an opponent out of there if the opportunity presents itself.
In Sam Maxwell, Smith will face a slightly more experienced opponent who has had a taste of what it is like to fight for a world championship in his career. Maxwell's challenge of then IBO Jr. Welterweight world champion Alejandro Meneses in April of last year did not go well for him as he was stopped in nine rounds in what was to date the lone loss of Maxwell's career.Maxwell, who was the Commonwealth Jr. Welterweight champion going into that fight, now prepares to resume defending his title after successfully getting back in the ring in February of this year in scoring a six round decision over Shaun Cooper. When Maxwell won the Commonwealth championship, it was in a fight similar to this where the British championship was also on the line. So, he is no stranger to the atmosphere in which this fight will be fought and, despite the loss to Meneses, Maxwell can use those experiences to his benefit as he prepares for this fight.
Similar to his opponent, Sam Maxwell is a boxer/puncher, having scored knockouts in eleven of his seventeen career wins. Although the two fighters are similar in style, there may be some who might feel that Smith has the more punching power of the two. Maxwell does however, have more experience and that could be the one attribute people could point to as an advantage for him.
What this fight will likely come down to in this observer's eyes is who will be able to control the tempo of the combat. When two fighters who face each other are similar in both fighting style, skillset, and can do a lot of the same things inside the ring, who can control the tempo and do so for the majority of the fight is crucial because the possibility exists of potentially a close fight that might prove difficult to score if both fighters are able to have success throughout.
While many fighters out of the United Kingdom have held the British and Commonwealth championships throughout the sport and have gone on to challenge for and win world titles in their careers, the storyline of this fight is not so much about the unification of two prestigious championships in British Boxing, but rather of two fighters in Dalton Smith and Sam Maxwell who are looking to move forward in their careers and have crossed paths as a result. The winner will obviously move forward towards contending for a world championship down the line. A loss for either fighter should not be an indicator that they may have to rethink their career, but a loss will be a step back and it will likely take some time to get back to this threshold. With much on the line for both fighters, it will be interesting to see who will come out on top.
"And That's The Boxing Truth."
Smith vs. Maxwell takes place on Saturday, July 1st at the Utilita Arena in Sheffield, England. The fight as well as its full undercard can be seen globally on digital subscription sports streaming network DAZN beginning at 12PM ET/9AM PT with Before The Bell, which will feature preliminary bouts. This will be followed by the main card, which will begin at 2PM ET/11AM PT. (U.S. Times Only.)
For more information about DAZN including schedules, list of compatible streaming devices, platforms, Smart TVs, availability around the world, local start times in your area, and to subscribe please visit: www.DAZN.com.
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