Paul Smith Jr. started boxing when he nine at the famous Rotunda amateur boxing club in his home town of Liverpool with Jimmy Albertina and Mick McAllister.
From a very young age Paul became hooked on boxing after watching the old fights with his Dad Paul senior who was a big fight fan. The ‘Fab Four’ Hagler, Leonard, Hearns and Duran and then Mike Tyson were the fighters that captured his imagination.
CLICK THE PLAY BUTTON ABOVE TO WATCH PART 1, PART 2 IS BELOW.
All he ever wanted to be was a boxer and when asked by his career tutors what his preferences were? There was only one box filled in with the word ‘Boxer’
|from back; Callum, Paul, Liam and Stephen Smith|
Liam, 24, the current Commonwealth light-middleweight title holder is on the verge of his own Lonsdale belt shot this year. Former British and Commonwealth featherweight champion Stephen, currently holds the WBO Inter-continental title and is primed for another crack at domestic honours this year. Callum the youngest of the boxing brethren at 22, has just turned pro on the back of his GB success and is tipped to go all the way.
Paul, 30, who adopted the ring name ‘Real Gone Kid’ and comes to the ring to the Deacon Blue Classic, a tune that is synonymous with him now, lead the boxing path for his brothers to trail blaze. After suffering the highs and lows in the sport; like losing by two points in the Commonwealth games final to future light-heavyweight world champion Jean Pascal, a silver medal is no mean feat, but Paul wanted the gold! As a professional his British title win against Tony Quigley in 2009, ranks top of his professional achievements, but losing that belt to James DeGale still haunts him and until he gets his hands on the British title again he will not settle.
|With First pro coach Billy Graham|
On the back of his amateur pedigree ‘Smigga’ – the other name he is commonly known as) turned pro in April 2003, joining coach Billy Graham in Manchester at ‘The Preachers’ Phoenix Camp, where he would rub shoulders with then British champion and WBU champion Ricky Hatton who was on the brink of world boxing stardom.
Other Phoenix gym mates were Matthew, Ricky’s brother, Anthony Farnell, Matthew Macklin, Michael Gomez, Steve Foster Jr. and Stevie Bell amongst them, in what he describes in this interview (full interview video above) with BritishBoxers, as a gym with a family atmosphere and an ideal place to begin his paid career.
It was at the height of the great Manchester boxing revival of the 90’s and the young lad from up the M62 fitted in like a bandage fist into a new 8oz glove. Paul built up a great relationship with Billy Graham and the lads and still holds his old coach in high esteem. He had his first 14 pro fights with Billy before moving back to Liverpool to join one of his home city’s boxing family’s The Vaughan’s.
|On the Pads with Danny Vaughan|
|Paul is second from right in the Contender TV Series|