St Ives star ‘plays it safe’ as successful ring return takes him into unknown territory

St Ives boxer Bradley Smith made a winning return to the ring.

St Ives boxer Bradley Smith made a winning return to the ring. - Credit: Archant

It was a case of no risk for future reward when St Ives boxer Bradley Smith made a pleasing return to the ring last Friday night.

The 20 year-old lightweight prospect extended a successful start to his professional career to six fights with a points success against Ibrar Riyaz.

Smith won all six rounds of his comeback outing at the Brentwood Centre, in Essex, but admitted he had to conquer a bout of pre-fight nerves as well as a considerably older and vastly more experienced opponent.

“I don’t mind admitting I was nervous,” Smith. “In fact I felt like I was making my pro debut again.

“I was under a lot of pressure as I’d been out of the ring since last September and couldn’t afford to slip up and get stopped in my tracks.

“On reflection, I was over-thinking things a bit and I started to relax once the bell went.

“It was a case of having to play it safe and take no real risks in a good learning fight against someone who comes forward and makes life hard.

Most Read

“I knew Riyaz would be a difficult opponent and that’s just what I needed at this stage.”

The fight took Smith into unknown territory as he went beyond four rounds for the first time in his fledgling career.

He admitted to feeling the strain in the final couple of rounds, but was still satisfied with his overall showing.

And he hopes to make a quick return to action with a fight being pencilled in at the York Hall – the scene of his first five pro successes – for July 8.

Smith added: “Four-round fights feel like they are over so quickly, but it felt like I was in the ring for ages on Friday over six rounds.

“I boxed well for the first four rounds and then started to gas a bit which meant I got dragged into more of a war than I ideally wanted.

“I was never troubled though, and comfortably won every round which is what I set out to do.

“It was a six or seven-out-of-10 performance. It was solid enough but there is still a lot more to come.

“I’m delighted we’ve managed to squeeze in another fight for July which means I should also be out in September and December.

“Three more fights this year is the plan and I need to keep picking up the wins to put myself in title contention.”