I THOUGHT Dalton Smith was impressive last weekend stopping Jose Zepeda in only five rounds with a great body shot.

The fight was pretty even up until the stoppage and showed Smith can box at world level and has the power to close the show when it’s needed. It was refreshing to see that afterwards he called for the matchup with European super-lightweight champion Adam Azim. Too often we see young fighters avoid each other claiming they are “building the fight” or that they will wait until a world title is on the line before facing each other.

Nowadays many promising fighters are steered away from overly risky matchups to find the easiest route to the top, usually missing out on the lessons they’ll need to have learned in order to compete against the very best in the sport. In this case either Team Smith and Team Azim may look at a match between the two as being too early in the respective careers of the boxers but in my opinion it can only be a positive, even for the loser.

It shows they are happy to take tough assignments. And they will learn from not only the fight but experience everything that surrounds a big event. The media attention, press obligations, dealing with the added pressure, expectations placed upon them and much more.

A fight between the two will stand them in good stead if they do then progress to fighting for world titles on an even bigger stage. The prime example is from 2011 when James DeGale and George Groves fought. They met quite early on in their careers but went on to be very successful and both became world champions. We know Smith and his team are up for the challenge, it’ll be interesting to see if Team Azim are.

We have an interesting heavyweight match up this weekend in Fabio Wardley vs. Frazer Clarke.

Their boxing backgrounds couldn’t be further apart. Clarke had an extensive amateur career; he was on the GB squad for 12 years boxing all over the world culminating reaching the Tokyo Olympics and bringing home a Silver Medal.

Wardley however never had an amateur bout and only boxed white collar before turning pro. And because of this you’d be forgiven for thinking the winner this weekend is a forgone conclusion. However, this is professional boxing and so far, Wardley has been much more impressive as a pro and has the better résumé. It’s hard to pick a winner between the two but I think because of the greater professional experience Wardley will remain the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion.