BOXING: Unbeaten fighter Bradley Smith puts his promising career on hold
PUBLISHED: 16:48 24 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:48 24 October 2017
One of the brightest young talents in British boxing has admitted that he may never fight again.
Unbeaten St Ives lightweight Bradley Smith has reeled off seven successive victories at the start of an exciting professional career.
But the 20 year-old has swapped the ring for a job with the family roofing business after losing his love for a sport in which he was widely tipped to reach the top.
“My head is not in boxing,” said Smith. “I’d like it to be, but I can’t force it to happen.
“I’ve not even been to the gym since my last fight in July and I have to admit I have not missed it.
“I’ve been boxing since I was 10 years old and it got to the point where I just wasn’t enjoying it any longer.
“It became a grind. It became a chore. It became something I had to do rather than wanted to do.
“It is far too dangerous to be half-hearted about it. Boxing is all or nothing - you have to live the life 24/7, 365 days a year.
“I’ve had phone calls from people in boxing and they’ve said it will be a waste of talent if I don’t fight again, but my happiness means a lot to me.
“I’ve always believed I can win a British title as a minimum. I’ve sparred quality fighters and never been out of my depth.
“But I’m 50/50 about whether or not I’ll box again.
“I know what I could achieve in the sport, but right now I’m enjoying being a normal guy living a normal life.”
Smith admits being based in London while under the tutelage of trainer Barry Smith at West Ham Boxing Cub was tough.
And seeing the career of close friend Tommy Martin come to a sudden end due to a brain injury also had an effect on Smith.
“London was very hard for me,” added Smith. “Living alone, away from family and friends, is difficult mentally.
“The fact I did two camps virtually on my own as there were no other fighters in the gym didn’t help either.
“I could have been in trouble massively in my last fight against a better opponent, but I got away with it.
“People don’t understand how hard it is to make a living in boxing either. They think everyone is on Mayweather money, but that’s not the case.
“I’ve made a bit, but that is more down to sponsorships.
“Tommy knows what the situation is. He understands how I’m feeling after the way his career ended up. Seeing what happened to him was a big eye-opener.”