Dalton Smith KOs Jose Zepeda and Sandy Ryan Stops Terri Harper in England


By David A. Avila

England showed off its talent in Sheffield.

Super lightweight prospect Dalton Smith advanced into the championship level and Sandy Ryan proved to be not just another world titlist on Saturday.

Dalton Smith (16-0, 12 KOs) faced the venomous punching power of Jose “Chon” Zepeda (37-5, 28 KOs) and eliminated him with a body shot knockout that left the world title challenger gasping for air at Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.

“I had to be on my game. He (Zepeda) puts people to sleep,” said Smith.

If any questions existed on Smith’s ability to compete at the championship level, the 27-year-old answered emphatically with a clinical and professional-style win.

Smith walked into the prize ring realizing that southpaw slugger Zepeda could end the night with a single punch. He carefully measured the California-based fighter’s movements and punching power before stepping on the gas from the second round on.

“He’s a great fighter,” explained Smith of Zepeda. “That’s what made me train harder.”

During the first several rounds the two hard-hitting punchers were able to score. Zepeda clipped Smith with quick rights and occasional lefts but discovered that the British fighter has a chin. That seemed to allow Smith to open-up slightly more with one-two combinations.

After Smith gained serious momentum in the third and fourth rounds, Zepeda shortened up his stride and looked to put on more pressure. In the fifth round Zepeda moved closer into firing range and ran into a right cross to the belly that took the strength out of his legs. Down went Zepeda for the count at 1:25 of the fifth round.

“I was hitting him with clean shots and it wasn’t doing anything,” said Smith of his head attack.

Apparently, the body shot was the answer.

Sandy Ryan Wins Battle of Champions


WBO welterweight titlist Sandy Ryan won the battle between British champions with a pile-driving stoppage of Terri Harper who dropped down a weight division but was unable to compete on Saturday.

Ryan (7-1-1, 3 KOs) walked into enemy territory and quieted the pro-Harper (14-2-2, 6 KOs) crowd with a riveting attack at Sheffield Arena. There was no stopping her on this night.

“I’m just happy,” said Ryan, 30, of Derby England.

After spending months in Las Vegas, Nevada living and training away from her home in England, the tall slender fighter Ryan finally was able to lure a fellow British world champion in the boxing ring.

“I was away from family and friends for so long,” Ryan said.

A close first round between the two female champions saw Ryan open up the second round behind a riveting left jab and body shots that made Harper hesitant and gun shy to counter.

Ryan seemed to sense early that she was in control and opened up with five- and six-punch combinations. And when Harper retaliated, Ryan returned fire again almost daring her rival to engage in a free-for-all.

Harper clinched several times in the third round to stymie Ryan’s constant attack, but it was not enough. The WBO titlist seemed even more eager to win by knockout and opened up with little concern of Harper’s counters.

In the fifth round it was obvious that Ryan was in complete control, the only question was if she could maintain the frenetic pace. Again, she opened up with punishing combinations as Harper looked for a solution. Instead, rights and lefts pummeled the super welterweight titlist until the end of the round.

Harper’s corner decided to end the fight, Referee Marcus McDonnell declared Ryan the winner at the end of the fifth round by technical knockout.

“I felt her fading,” said Ryan.

The win by Ryan sets her up for a rematch against Jessica McCaskill who holds the WBA and WBC welterweight titles. Their first encounter ended in a split draw after 10 rounds last September in Orlando, Florida.

Ryan expressed a desire to face any champion.

“Any big fight. All the big names,” Ryan said.

Other Results

Ishmael Davis (13-0) defeated Troy Williamson (20-3-1) by unanimous decision after 12 rounds for a regional middleweight title.

James Flint (14-1-2) handed Campbell Hatton (14-1) fis first defeat as a pro by unanimous decision after 10 rounds in a super lightweight match.

Photo credit: Mark Robinson / Matchroom