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Dalton Smith dazzles in stoppage win over Jose Zepeda

Smith dazzles in stoppage win over Zepeda
© Reuters
Dalton Smith announces himself at world level at super-lightweight with a fifth-round stoppage on Jose Zepeda in Sheffield.

Dalton Smith has produced a masterful performance in recording a fifth-round stoppage win over Jose Zepeda in Sheffield.

The WBC silver super-lightweight title was on the line as the unbeaten British fighter attempted to show that he was ready to move to world level against the hard-punching southpaw.

In the opening two rounds, there were signs that Smith could endure a tricky night against an opponent who had 28 knockout from 42 bouts, with the home fighter doing all that he could to avoid Zepeda's big left hand.

However, from the third round onwards, Smith took over, expertly judging the distance and unloading with shots that only discouraged Zepeda the longer that the fight progressed.

Although an early night for Smith did not necessarily look likely, it was far from a surprise when a perfectly-time shot stunned Zepeda and acted as the catalyst for the finish.

Shortly afterwards, Smith landed an accurate body shot through the centre of Zepeda's defence, leading to the 34-year-old to have a delayed reaction before eventually crumpling into a heap on the canvas.

He never looked likely to beat the count, enabling Smith to wildly celebrate with his home fans and contemplate his next move in the 140lbs division.

Earlier in the night, Sandy Ryan defended her WBO welterweight title by overpowering Terri Harper, whose corner threw in the towel at the end of the fourth round with little coming back from their fighter against a relentless champion.

Campbell Hatton also fell to the first fight of his professional career at he lost on points to James Flint, with the champion deservedly defending Central Area super-lightweight title with scores of 98-92, 97-94 and 97-95 going in his favour.

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Dalton Smith pictured in January 2020
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