BOXING: Smith oozing with confidence as he claims maiden professional success

Jack Smith believes his first win as a professional has relieved some of the pressure from his shoulders.

Smith earned a 40-36 points victory over Gary Reeve at the Epic Studios in Norwich on Saturday, his first bout since suffering defeat at the hands of Craig Derbyshire in quite controversial circumstances in April.

And the 19-year-old fighter from Chatteris feels his maiden success in the professional ranks has been a real morale-lifter.

“For me to come back as soon as I did and to get the win, it’s boosted my confidence a lot and it’s took a lot of pressure off me”, Smith said.

“I learned that in my first fight, I was at the wrong weight – I was nearly three weight categories higher than what I boxed on Saturday.

“On Saturday, I was at the right weight and I felt fit and strong in there.

“The 32-year-old man came for a good go, but I just boxed clever and kept him at range and did what I had to do to get the win.”

Taking things slow: Smith feels more experience could lead to a promising career ahead

Not much mental preparation was needed ahead of the four-round contest with Reeve, but other targets were firmly in place in order to rectify previous mistakes.

“None mentally really, other than to study him more than my first opponent so I could see his style.

“Physically, I worked more on strength and conditioning and in the gym.

“Also, I did more rounds sparring and I just felt sharp in there.

“I put the time in the gym, on the roads and into my diet and finally the hard work has paid off and it feels amazing, no other feeling like it.”

Amid the setback over three months ago, Smith still had a large following to Norfolk, which the boxer could not have been more appraising.

“My supporters are amazing”, he said.

“What can I say; 115 in the first fight and around 70 in my second at this time of year is really good because everyone is away.

“But it’s not just who comes to my fights, it’s the messages on Facebook wishing me luck and congratulating me whether I win, lose or draw.

“It makes me feel confident with everyone behind me.”

Despite the jubilation of his victory, Smith, who fights out of the St Ives Boxing Academy, is not getting too carried away as he aims for the top of the tree.

“There are always areas inside and outside the ring to improve on, but that’s what I go to the gym and work with Steve Whitwell on.

“There’s no rush into fights that I’m not ready for.

“I just need more to get my experience and see where it goes from there.

As a boxer’s mentality is to win titles as soon as possible, that would be great, but I know my time will come.”