Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Interview with Mitchell Smith!

We chat to highly-rated British prospect...
Mitchell Smith!
AKA 'The Baby Faced Assassin'

(5-0, 2 KO's)

You're 5 fights into your professional career... How have you found the pro game so far? Is it what you expected?

I prefer the pro game to the amateur game. My style is a little more designed for the pro's, that's why I didn't get picked for the GB squad as an amateur. So yeah it was what I expected it to be. I like to hurt people when I fight and in the amateur game that's not so much, but in the pro game its a little bit more exciting and the crowd are starting to like me. I was expecting everything to go well and for it to be like this.

How have you seen your fan base grow over the past 8 or 9 months? Are you starting to get noticed more and more?

Yeah, I've started up a Twitter account and I'm surprised how many people are following me which is nice. And yeah I'm quite liked around my area, I've been boxing since I was 6 and everyone knows I've been boxing since I was young so everyone's been sort of following me around my way. I do like 450 tickets every time I fight, and I'm not even that high up in the pro ranks at the moment. Hopefully my fan base keeps growing and we can take a big crowd to Vegas one day.

Some people have called you the next Ricky Hatton... Is that because of the way you fight or how much support you are getting at such an early stage in your career?

To be likened to Ricky Hatton is amazing. He's done what so many fighters haven't. To be called the next Hatton is a big confidence booster for me. Don't get me wrong I'm an exciting fighter, but to be up where Ricky's standards are, there's a lot more learning to do, and you know, if I can get as good as what Ricky was I'll be more than happy. 

You were scheduled to fight on March 16th but the show has been postponed to April 20th. Will you have to then or will you look to return a bit earlier?

I think that I'll have to wait until April 20th now. What pee's me off is that I found out (about this fight) around 12 weeks ago, so I've started like a 10-12 week camp, training hard and trying to get into the best shape I can. And obviously for them to tell me that I've got to wait another 6 weeks; as a fighter you realize that you need to peak to fight and I have to hold myself back now. I get into a real fighting mood. 2 weeks before my fight I've sort of got to to be left on my own a little. You know, I want to fight everyone, I end up having a go at people for no reason because I just want to fight. So to have to wait to April now, obviously I'm gutted but I've got to be mature about it. So I'll have 6 or 7 days off, chill out for a little while and then I'll be back to hard graft again.

He's been getting a lot of stick lately, but you know, you've met him and you know a bit about what goes on behind the scenes. What are your thoughts on Frank Warren as a promoter?

I try not to get involved too much with it all, but yeah, Frank's a good promoter you know. He's built some good champions in his time. His son Francis is coming on board now, and he's a good bloke. And you know, he's a promoter, he's going to get stick from everyone. I like them, they've done well for me and its a business at the end of the day. I'm working for him basically, I fight for Frank Warren Promotions and at the end of the day its a business. I haven't got nothing bad to say about them. I like them and they're doing the right thing for me so I'm happy.

At just 20-years old you fight like you've got tons of experience... At what age did you first come across boxing? And could you tell us a bit about your amateur career?

I was bullied when I was about 6 in school as it goes and my dad said 'we'll take you up the boxing gym.' So I went up the gym and I haven't really looked back since. Had my first fight when I was 11 and won my first title when I was 15, which was a NABC title, I won that two years on the trot. And then I won a Junior ABA title and then I won the Senior ABA title and turned pro. I boxed for England a couple of times but not as much as I would have liked. I'm a bit disappointed really because for me to come into the pro game and do what I'm doing now, if they'd have given me a chance to box for GB I could have been a favorite to box in the 2016 Olympics. I never got a shot so I weren't gonna wait around, I thought I'm gonna turn over and do it now.

I know your dad has played a big part in your boxing over the years... Could you tell us a bit about your family background and boxing team?

My dad guided me to the gym when I was at that young age. There were a couple of times when I had it a bit tough because my mum weren't around so I've always had my dad around, so me and my brother have been hardened. My dad now does all my tickets. A lot of fighters will know that doing tickets is a massive part of boxing and it stresses you out. He also hands up in the corner, he's in the gym, and if I can't get there then my dad will do a bit of training with me, so yeah he is a massive part in my career. 

Jason (Rowland) is my actual coach. I met Jason just before I wanted to turn pro. We had a little chat and met with my manager Richard Clarke and spoke about things and I was happy from what they were giving me so I turned over with them. Jason's doing a good job. He's molding me into a good fighter and there's a lot more I can learn from him. Hopefully we can go the whole way together. 

I've also got a fella in the gym called Steve O'Shea. He's one of them that will just push you, he gets in your head a little bit. I was sparring with Carl Frampton once and I lost the first 2 rounds and he's like 'you won them 2, you couldn't miss him with that jab.' And then you start to believe you won them rounds, it picks you up. I've got all the boys in the gym. I've got Tony Conquest, another lad Miles Shinkwin who's an up and coming pro, John Diggnum, another good fighter. We've got a good team around us and hopefully we can start winning titles this year. I'll be happy if I can nick a title in 2013.

What are your thoughts on some of the top guys at super-featherweight in Britain right now? Guys like Gary Buckland, Stephen Smith and John Simpson?

They're all good fighters, I mean they're all big names and have done a lot more than what I have and I wouldn't say I'm in that little group at the moment. And I wouldn't put myself in there. That would be disrespectful to them fighters. I'm doing my apprenticeship in the pro ranks at the moment you know. I'm boxing journeymen, beating journeymen as I should be and so hopefully I start getting a couple of tests and start coming through them. When I'm ready to start mixing with some of them big names, we will start looking at big things for me. I believe I've got the ability to beat lads like that and if I haven't got that mentality then I might as well pack it up now. I want to go on and win bigger things than British titles, but I'm not looking past these fights at all. They're going to be great fights. I'm hoping that if not later this year, then maybe start of next year for big things.

How far can you really see yourself going in your career? Do you have world title aspirations?

I believe I've got the ability to win a world title. I believe I can clean up. I'm not cocky but I know that I've got a massive heart and I'm a good fighter. I've got good people around me, I've got great support and I believe that if everything goes to plan I can be looking at big things. 


What's it like fighting on BoxNation? Do you feel you are getting more exposure tha you would on Sky Sports or Channel 5?

BoxNation is a great channel! Let's be fair, Eddie Hearn is a great promoter and a lot of people are starting to go towards him now. But the up and coming fighters, they're not really getting put on Sky Sports, there's only the big fights on there. Whereas BoxNation I've been on there 4 times now and live as well. I've had a lot of people tweet me saying 'Mitchell Smith, great fighter.' I've had David Price tweet about me after my first fight and people like Paul Smith and Barry McGuigan too. Its great promotion for me and its putting me out there. I think its a great channel.

'Baby Faced Assassin' is your nickname because you look so young. What's it like at super-featherweight? Do you feel as strong or stronger than the guys you fight?

To be fair, I would fight light-welterweights, its not a problem for me. Strength isn't an issue because I'm a very strong lad and I can punch very hard. Baby Faced Assassin comes from because I've got that killer instinct. 

Who's your favorite fighter right now? And do you believe that you can one day be up there with some of the best fighters in the world?

My favourite fighter to this date is probably (Floyd) Mayweather. He's a class fighter. And yeah, I can see myself being up there with these fighters. What you've got to understand is that people are probably going to look at this interview think 'ah he's alright but he's not up to that standard', but its not even been a year since I've had my first pro fight. I've come on leaps and bounds so give me 2 or 3 years of fighting good fighters, getting the good sparring, getting the good coaching and just learning. Think of the fighter I'm going to be in 3 years time. I can see myself being a world champion, definitely.

What made you decide to turn pro after such a successful year in the amateurs?

Not getting picked for GB. I boxed once after winning the Senior ABA's, at the right weight as well. Bantamweight at 56kg, I got down to the weight and I boxed against a lad called Shane Cox from Ireland. Beat him comfortably and I always got people saying 'you will get picked for them', but we tried hard to get into GB and get some funding so I could box without having to work, but it just didn't happen. I like a massive crowd when I'm fighting as well, and after going to a couple of pro fights with like 1000's of people around the ring cheering and all the noise and atmosphere, I just thought 'yeah this a bit of me.' 

No comments:

Post a Comment