Islington Boxing Club fighter determined to follow his brother and win a national title

Islington BC's Troy Smart (right) in action against Conner Downs (Far Cotton Boys ABC)

Islington BC's Troy Smart (right) in action against Conner Downs (Far Cotton Boys ABC) - Credit: Archant

Islington BC’s Troy Smart has vowed not to give up on his ambition of emulating his twin brother by claiming a national title.

The 24-year-old was recently defeated by old rival Joey Teal (Dale Youth ABC) in the North West London Under-56kg final at the England Elite Boxing Championships.

But he remains determined to match his twin Scott, who won the national Under-52kg title at the Development Championships in an Islington vest 18 months ago.

“My brother’s got a national title already and I’d like to have a title with him,” Troy told the Gazette. “After all, I’m the only twin that hasn’t got one!

“It does feel like I need to get a title. I want it badly and I’ll stay amateur and try to enter as many tournaments as I can until I get one.

You may also want to watch:

“My brother encourages me. He wants me to get a title as badly as he wants to get another one himself, and that’s what I’m trying to do.

“The Teal fight was my first in a year and, no excuses, but I didn’t feel too good in that one – I waited too much. I need to take the good points from it and keep improving in the gym.”

Most Read

Troy’s hopes of regaining the winning habit at Islington’s dinner show on Friday were dashed when he lost a split decision after a lively clash with Conner Downs (Far Cotton Boys ABC).

The home fighter began brightly at the Royal National Hotel, Russell Square, but Downs – who was later named best away boxer of the night – produced the superior work-rate in the second and third rounds.

“It was good to be involved in, but I feel a bit bitter about the result,” said Troy. “I hurt him a couple of times in the first round, which I didn’t expect, and the counter-shots were working as well when he was lunging in.

“He did get a bit smarter, giving me feints before he lunged in – then he started coming on a bit stronger.

“I thought I caught him with the better, eye-catching shots but he did have a little flurry in the last round and that must have impressed the judges. It felt good to be back in there, though.”

As well as continuing to work towards his goal of becoming a national champion, Smart has also been spending some time coaching younger boxers at the Hazellville Road gym.

He works with the club’s infant class on Wednesdays, as well as the junior academy on Fridays, adding: “The infant class, especially, is going really well.

“For such a young age, there’s so much talent, and they’ve progressed quickly. They do mess around a bit, you have to expect that, but it is great fun.”

There were mixed fortunes for the other Islington boxers on the show.

Junior pair Kervern Kiala (52kg) and Dillion McDonagh (49kg) took unanimous decisions against Javir Sangar (Gator ABC) and Braydon Cunningham (St Albans ABC) respectively.

Aaron Nicely was also victorious in his 80kg clash against Nyesco Okpako (Afewee ABC), as was Lamin Conteh (71kg) against F Gola (Peacock ABC) at 71kg – both by unanimous verdict.

However, Amy Pu (60kg) lost a unanimous decision to Roseanna Allen (Essex Uni ABC), as did Mateusz Szczepkowski (88kg) against Jamie Smith (St Albans ABC).

And Chris Stornelli (75kg) and Ramel Smith (75kg) lost split decisions to Hassan Iqbal (White Hart Lane ABC) and Moses Mabote (St Albans) respectively.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter