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British Lionhearts Take On Kazakhstan In Sheffield

BRITISH LIONHEARTS NAME STEEL CITY BOXER DALTON SMITH IN LINE-UP TO FACE KAZAKHSTAN IN SEMI-FINAL OF WORLD SERIES BOXING NEXT WEEK IN SHEFFIELD

SHEFFIELD’S Dalton Smith has been named in the British LIonhearts team to take on Astana Arlans Kazakhstan when the World Series of Boxing (WSB) makes its first appearance in the ‘Steel City’ next Thursday (17 March 2018).

The semi-final match will be the first time the British Lionhearts have competed in Sheffield, which is home to the Olympic boxing programme and the GB Boxing squad that provides the majority of the boxers in the Lionhearts team.


It will also be the first time Smith has competed in his hometown for nearly two years and he is joined in the Lionhearts team by 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Galal Yafai (light-flyweight), Niall Farrell (bantamweight) and Ben Whittaker (middleweight) from the GB Boxing squad and overseas selection, Radoslav Pantaleev (heavyweight) from Bulgaria.

Tickets are on sale now, priced £11 (including booking fee), at https://www.seetickets.com/

Smith said: “It is fantastic that we are boxing in Sheffield. In the GB Boxing squad we usually compete overseas so it is very rare that I get to box in my home town.

“It means my family and friends the chance to come along and support me and a lot of them are planning to be there on the night.

“Two former members of the GB Boxing squad, Charlie and Sunny Edwards, are attending as they used to box for my club, Steel City ABC, which is bringing a few of the younger boxers along as well.

“It will be great for them to see the quality of the WSB bouts and hopefully it will help to inspire them to see the level that someone from their club is boxing at.

The Sheffield fixture is the home leg in a two match semi-final against the defending champions from Kazakhstan and will be Smith’s second appearance of the season following a unanimous victory over Ivan Njegac of Croatia in the group stages.

In total, he has three wins from four bouts in WSB, his sole defeat coming against Cuba’s three time world championship medallist, Yasnier Toledo, in the 2016 final of WSB.

Smith added: “The Kazakhstan team is full of world class boxers but there is also a lot of talent in our line-up and we have a good track record in the competition so, whilst we respect our opponents, we do not fear them.

“It is the third time we have met the Arlans in the semi-final and although they beat us last year, we won in 2016, so it should be another close match.

“It’s great for the people of Sheffield that WSB is coming to the city. Anyone that likes their boxing should definitely come along as they will see some top quality action from two world class teams.

“The tickets are great value for money and people would have to pay a lot more for a pro show. Every bout will be a 50-50 fight, that could go either way, and it is guaranteed to be entertaining.”

WSB is a team boxing competition which bridges the gap between Olympic and professional boxing and is contested by the world’s leading amateur boxers who compete without vests or headguards over five three-minute rounds.

All of the major boxing nations have a team in WSB which features some of the best boxers in the world from the Olympic format of the sport. Previous participants include Team GB’s Rio Olympic medallists, Joe Joyce and Joshua Buatsi, and the man many regard as the finest pound-for-pound boxer in the world, Vasyl Lomachenko, who competed twice for the Ukraine Ottamans against the British Lionhearts in 2013.

The British Lionhearts team is supported by UK Sport which funds GB Boxing to manage the world class performance programme (WCPP) for boxing.

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TOP CLASS international boxing will come to Sheffield when the British Lionhearts take on Astana Arlans Kazakhstan in their World Series of Boxing (WSB) semi-final first leg at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre on Thursday 17th May 2018.

It will be the first time the British Lionhearts have competed in Sheffield, which is home to the Olympic boxing programme and the GB Boxing squad that provides the vast majority of boxers and coaches for the Lionhearts team.

A number of boxers from the GB Boxing squad will be selected for the British Lionhearts team that takes on the reigning WSB champions from Kazakhstan. It will be the third season in a row that the teams have met in the semi-final of WSB and reinforces their status as two of the super-powers of the competition.

WSB is a team boxing competition which bridges the gap between Olympic and professional boxing and is contested by the world’s leading amateur boxers who compete without vests or headguards over five three-minute rounds.

The semi-final against Kazakhstan will feature five bouts and tickets are on sale now, priced £11 (including booking fee) at https://www.seetickets.com/

“Sheffield has been home to the Olympic boxing programme for over a decade so it is great that we are able to bring the semi-final to the city and give sports fans an opportunity to watch the boxers in action,” explained Rob McCracken who is Performance Director of GB Boxing and the British Lionhearts.

“WSB is a high quality competition, featuring world class boxers and the fact this is a semi-final means it is going to be an extra special night.

“Our team has performed superbly this season to make the semi-finals however we know from experience that the Kazakh team will be extremely tough and it will be a superb night of boxing.”

The British Lionhearts have been the best performing team in the regular season of this year’s WSB finishing top of the table and winning five of their six matches and 23 of the team’s 30 bouts. The Arlans came third, winning five of their matches and 22 out of 30 bouts.

The match in Sheffield will be the first instalment of a two-leg semi-final and will feature contests at light-flyweight, bantamweight, light-welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight. The second leg will take place in Atyrau on Saturday 26 May 2018.

It is the third consecutive season in which the two teams have clashed in the semi-final of WSB. In 2016, the Lionhearts progressed to the final with a 7-3 victory over two legs. The score was reversed in 2017 as the Arlans overcame the British team before going on to defeat the Cuba Domodores in the final.

The British Lionhearts team is supported by UK Sport which funds GB Boxing to manage the world class performance programme (WCPP) for boxing.

All of the major boxing nations have a team in WSB which features some of the best boxers in the world from the Olympic format of the sport. Previous participants include Team GB’s Rio Olympic medallists, Joe Joyce and Joshua Buatsi, and the man many regard as the finest pound-for-pound boxer in the world, Vasyl Lomachenko, who competed twice for the Ukraine Ottamans against the British Lionhearts in 2013.

More details on the British Lionhearts are available at http://www.gbboxing.org.uk/world-series-boxing/ and by following the team on twitter at @Brit_Lionhearts.