Connect with us

32Red Blog

Royston Barney-Smith exclusive: when those fighters come, you have to turn it on

Royston Barney-Smith


Royston Barney-Smith exclusive: when those fighters come, you have to turn it on

Royston Barney-Smith exclusive: when those fighters come, you have to turn it on

When teenagers up and down the country were applying for different universities, a 17-year-old Royston Barney-Smith decided to take himself to a different kind of finishing school and started training at Ben Davison’s gym in Essex.

The unbeaten super featherweight is now 20 years old and although boxing is a sport that you never stop learning, Barney-Smith is thriving or as he puts it, “I’m flat out and flying.”

Barney-Smith spends his days working alongside two-time unified heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua, former featherweight champion, Leigh Wood, and some of the most talented young fighters in the country.

Barney-Smith is an outrageously talented youngster. But he has learned that professional boxing is about much more than what goes on between the ropes and he is soaking up every bit of information and advice he can. It is working. Barney-Smith has stopped his last two opponents and seems to be improving with every appearance.

“I’ve got the likes of Anthony Joshua, Leigh Wood and Luke McCormack in the gym now. All top athletes and world champions or top prospects,” he told 32Red.

“I’m looking to push for a title”

Royston Barney Smith

“Just watching them and seeing how focused they are. Watching what their game plans are. Seeing what they’ve been told to do and what not to do and then watching how they approach it. It’s a blessing to be around those fighters to be able to see how they handle things.

“I try and take the things away that I know I’ll be capable to do.

“Look at Leigh Wood. Even though he gets in trouble sometimes, he always stays composed and he always sticks to the plan no matter what. He always pulls it off. I look at AJ and what he stands for. Straight business, no messing around. Just staying on top of your game at all points.”

This weekend, Barney-Smith will fight the aggressive Brazilian, Jonatas Oliveira, at London’s York Hall. The fight will be his second eight rounder and he is scheduled to box for his first title this summer. For all the latest fight odds, visit our sportsbook.

It hasn’t been for the want of trying but so far Barney-Smith has learned his trade against a list of foreign opponents with his domestic rivals choosing to wait until there is a significant prize or lucrative payday on offer before fighting him. Barney-Smith is determined to reach the top whether they step up to the plate or not.

“I’m blessed I’m in this position”

“I’m open to all options at the minute. I’ve got myself into a position where I can go down that route or take a different path where I can fight internationally and get a world title faster than maybe winning the British title and defending it three times. I’m blessed in the position I’ve got myself into. I’m looking to push for a title in the fight after this one,” he said.

“It’s pretty hard to get an English opponent. The people I’d be looking to fight might be in line for a shot at the English or British title and they don’t want to lose their opportunity if they get beaten by me. I’m looking to fight that type of opponent but they don’t wanna take it because they think they’ll lose their opportunity.

“I’m looking to fight them to go past that route. That’s where I’m stuck at the moment. I can’t get a fight with anyone in England. We have tried. We asked multiple English opponents for this fight and the one previously but it’s hard to get one to say yes.

“I’m hoping I can get myself into a position where they have to say yes.”

“There’s a standard you have to keep”

Royston Barney Smith

The fighters from Davison’s gym have formed a tight team and travel to support each other. Having a famous cast of faces surrounding him in the dressing room is a nice boost but it also brings with it a degree of pressure to perform.

Davison and his team put a lot of time and effort into preparing their fighters for battle and when Barney-Smith enters the ring, he feels like it is his duty to represent them as well as he can.

“When those fighters come, you know you have to turn it on,” he said. “You’re not just looking good for yourself. There’s a standard you have to keep when you come to Ben’s gym and you have to keep pushing forward.

“When they come you have all eyes on you. Even if you don’t do that good in a fight and things could have been easier, it falls back to you. In the gym they fully prepare you for what’s to come so whatever you need to do on the night, you’ve got it in your locker.”

To see all our latest boxing markets, check out 32Red Sport here. If you’re up for a flutter on table games or the slots, be sure to check out our award-winning casino too!

Continue Reading

More in Boxing

To Top
string(4) "post"