Smith set for dream date with Team GB
11 March, 2017 — By Steve Barnett
He’s a Smasher… Mason Smith with his dad Darren
HE can count heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua among his biggest fans, has represented his country, and boasts the Southern Area English Elite belt among his collection of accolades.
Yet for light-welterweight Mason Smith, the fight to reach the very top of the boxing world hasn’t even begun, as he closes in on his dream of competing at the Olympic Games.
The 20-year-old, who trains at Islington Boxing Club, is counting down the days until he makes his debut for Team GB.
“I was boxing for England in Ireland when I received an email inviting me to join the GB boxing podium potential squad. It was unbelievable,” recalled “Smasher” Smith.
“I was preparing to fight European Games bronze medallist Sean McComb, so couldn’t really celebrate.
“It was odd because even though I went on to lose that fight I was still happy, being selected to represent Team GB was my biggest win.”
In safe hands: a young Mason with Anthony Joshua, back when he began his own climb to boxing fame
Smith has been preparing for his big debut by training at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield alongside the rest of the GB squad.
The London ABA champ believes his place in the squad bears out his decision to switch to Islington BC from Finchley ABC last year.
“I feel my hard work has really paid off and going to Islington was a good thing. Everything’s just fallen into place since then.”
The first thing that Mason did when he found out that he had been selected for Team GB was email his dad Darren, who now coaches at Islington BC.
But that wasn’t the only supporter he got in touch with. “I texted Anthony [Joshua] and he said that was delighted for me,” revealed Mason. “He said that he was really proud of me and that he thinks I’ll achieve big things in the sport.
“We’re close friends, he’s known me since I was 13, as we used to train together at Finchley ABC. So it means a lot to me to have his support.
“I want to take this opportunity that I’ve been given with both hands. I want to continue my journey, and hopefully compete at the Commonwealth Games, and then the Olympics in 2020.”