MITCHELL SMITH may be one of BoxNation's youngest stars, but he is also one of the channel's best-loved. Glynn Evans explains why.
An amiable family man beyond the ropes, and a doting father to Sienna Lou (2), the 22-year-old haemorrhages 'attitude' on fight night, strutting to battle resplendent in matching pink sunnies and trunks.
It's difficult to believe that Mitch was initially frogmarched to the gym by dad, aged six, because he was bullied at school.
When an amateur coach counselled against entering the senior ABAs, the likely lad nonchalantly switched clubs... and romped to the title!
And you've got to love a teenager who, prior to his debut, declares "they won't allow it, but I know if I fought for the British title tomorrow, I'd win it!"
2. The kid can shift a ticket
For years, the capital has been crying out for a fighter capable of replicating the commercial magnetism of Ricky Hatton in Manchester or Carl Frampton in Belfast. If he continues to win and shine, could Smith evolve into that man?
The pride of Harrow Weald routinely draws an army of 500 to the York Hall. A lifelong West Ham fan, he has been quick to tap into the football crowd, sporting hammers on his shorts and delivering a cross-armed salute after each victory.
An astonishing 1,400 fans brought tickets from him for his WBO European title triumph at the ExCeL last November.
As a youngster growing up in Queensbury, he recalls looking down over Wembley Stadium. One day, he might fill it.
3. Take out power
As an amateur, Smith's sole stoppage win came in his first bout, aged 11!
Just five early wins in 11 paid gigs hardly suggests the second coming of Edwin Valero but makes no allowance that he debuted as a teenager.
Debut opponent James Ancliffe, a two weight Scottish champion, was blitzed inside three rounds. Sixth victim Gavin Reid had stretched Scott Quigg nine rounds but tumbled in the opening session, while Holyhead's Mark Evans (previously unbeaten in 10) was demolished within five minutes. Concussion can be exacted from either glove.
Latterly, mighty Mitch landed the inaugural Rainham Steel sponsored 'Punch of the Month' gong on BoxNation after a savage four shot volley put Croatia's Antonio Horvatic in the land of nod!
The mallet fists are supplemented by an executioner's mindset.
Beyond the ropes, you'd struggle to find a more courteous and obliging subject than the soft voiced, perpetually grinning north Londoner.
However, once the gloves are laced, Smith morphs into a merciless monster and once he sniffs weakness, he strikes like a shark. Until business is concluded, each foe is viewed as a mortal enemy.
He goes by the sinister mantra, "I always like to win by knockout and I enjoy hurting people!"
5. The full package
Even if the kid had fists of marshmallow and the psyche of an altar boy, there's still plenty to commend.
Remember, just four years back, aged 18, Smith had the technical tools needed to land a senior ABA title.
And coach Rowland's austere training drills ensure that, both physically and psychologically, Mitch is far tougher than he looks.
He is yet to hit the carpet in either the pro or amateur code and, despite his youth, there was no evidence of a stamina shortfall when he travelled the 10 round trip in Area, English and WBO European title action.
A subpar showing against Scott Moises 20 months ago persuaded Mitch to adjust both diet and attitude. Today, he lives the life, respects the game and 'wants it' badly!