Scott has made a smart call to return to the ring, insists Islington BC coach

Islington BC's Scott Smart returned to the ring after an 18-month absence at the weekend.

Islington BC's Scott Smart returned to the ring after an 18-month absence at the weekend. - Credit: Archant

Islington BC manager Reggie Hagland has backed Scott Smart to be a hit at the England Boxing Elite Championships later in the season despite his defeat on his return to the ring on Sunday.

Smart was fighting for the first time in 18 months in the National Development Championship after considering giving up the sport for good – but Hagland believes the youngster has made the right decision to continue, and expects him to go from strength to strength.

He told the Gazette: “Scott’s had a few injuries over the last couple of years and was seriously considering coming out of the sport completely on a few occasions. In the end he didn’t though, and we’re delighted he’s come back as we believe he’s a real talent and has a lot of potential.

“His brother Troy is also a fighter at the club so it’s good to have them both with us and hopefully Scott can kick on now.

“The Elite Championships will be a really good test for him and one he should be really relishing.”

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Smart lost on a unanimous decision to Jordan Purkiss (Chadwell St Mary’s) in the national pre-quarter-finals in the Eastern vs London round of the competitition at the weekend.

Having started slowly in the first round, Smart came back strongly and levelled things up in the second, but the Islington southpaw did not have enough in the tank in the last round and lost convincingly.

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Meanwhile, Islington BC light-welterweight Mason Smith competed for the second time in an England vest as he defended his Southern Area English Elite title belt last Thursday at York Hall.

England took on an English Title Series select side in an international encounter – and Mason emerged triumphant against Oliver Knight (Army) after his original opponent Martin McDonagh pulled out of their clash due to illness.

It became a scrappy affair but Smith was still able to catch the Army boxer with the eye-catching punches and eventually won via a unanimous decision.

As a result Smith secured another defence of his title and is now one successful contest away from keeping the belt for good. He said: “It’s my second win for England and I’ve defended my title again, so I can have no complaints.”

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