BKB™ Prize Fighter: Smudger Smith
BKB™ Prize Fighter: Smudger Smith
At BKB 16 on March 30th, James Connelly said he and opponent, Smudger Smith will “go to war”, and in response, Smith is more than happy to put their friendship aside for 15 minutes, as business in the ring remains the same as always.
In the more recent months, Smudger has built a growing friendship with Connelly, both competing under the same BKB promotion based out of England. Now given the news the two will face off at the O2 Arena, the Prize Fighter victory is the focus, but promise a pint of beer afterwards.
Having been a boxer for a majority of his life, Smudger Smith says once his son was born, he stepped away from the sport to become more family orientated, a “hands on dad.” In his time away from competing, Smith would fall into depression, letting his physical fitness diminish, losing all focus and personal goals he had set for himself as a new father. Now back on track, 1-1 in BKB, Smith tells his story leading to the promotions 16th event.
“I have boxed for the best part of my life in junior amateur bouts, and then senior amateur bouts for the British army. I love the prospect of getting in there regardless of the outcome, just testing myself and seeing how far I can go against tough opponents. I started with unlicensed boxing (white collar) once I left the army and had about 15 fights, and lost only 2 against very good, well rounded opponents that could’ve gone either way.” He continued, “My son was born when I was 30 years old, so I quit the boxing to become a more “hands on dad”, wanting to spend more time with my family. I sank into depression after about 4-5 years as I felt I was letting myself go. My fitness and physique started to take its toll on me, and I had no focus or goals for me to look forward to. I got into a few fights (straighteners) with some local bullies and put them away quite comfortably, but I was still out of shape and they were younger than me. They were threatening to come back after training to have another go. I started training again and got my hunger back, along with my focus etc. etc. but it also got my mood changed massively and helped get me back in a completely different frame of mind. I was then told about this BKB that was new, and coming into the public eye, so I decided to try and have a go. It led me to where we are now. I had my first fight with Jonny Lawson that I won very comfortably, and then was asked if I wanted to fight Trezise for the British title, and I jumped at the opportunity and took the fight. We had a great fight and unfortunately I was stopped in the 5th due to a cut. I was asked if I wanted to be in the Prizefighter as I was hunting the rematch, and Trezise wasn’t going to be fighting for some time due to injuries he had sustained, and the birth of his child being due soon. I got through the quarters with some complications and was faced with an unprofessional opponent.”
Having his ups and downs in bare knuckle boxing, the focus is back, and Smith gives his thoughts on his up-and-coming obstacle, that is James Connelly.
“My opponent in the semis [semi-finals] is a very capable fighter. He is skilful, tall and rangy with a toughness only found in the higher tiers of combat sports. I have gotten close to James in the recent months and then found out we were fighting each other after this friendship. It won’t make a difference as the business will still be the same and we will put our friendship to one side for 15 minutes.”
The £10,000 money given to the victor of the Prize Fighter tournament helps, Smudger says, but his progression is the main concern, eyeing a future title fight.
“The money always helps; I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t. Ultimately for me it’s not about the money, it’s about progression and getting that one step closer to that world title. I would rather win to cement my name into the history books of BKB as the first winner of the Prize Fighter of modern day, and then the title holder. The money is just a bonus that would probably just be spent on my Mrs (significant other) and kids for a few niceties.”, Smith ends with a warm smile.
A main focus being progression, previously stated, Smudger tells the fans watching and in attendance March 30th he will give nothing less than 100%.
“If you have seen my fight against Trezise at BKB14, then you’ll have an idea of the sort of fight you should be expecting. I will give nothing less than 100% and then some more. I won’t ever stop unless I get dragged out or that bell sounds. I have bags of self-motivation and determination. My goals are clear, my mind is set and my endurance & willingness to win will not falter.”
At BKB 16 at the O2 Arena, in front of 2500+ fans, Smudger Smith will look to do whatever it takes to advance in the tournament, eyeing the Prize Fighter title and Jack Broughton trophy. Money’s great, sure, but the top is the goal, and this tournament is only the beginning for the man fighting out of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.
Who wins, Smith or Connelly? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter: @bkb_official1