Dalton Smith saw his knockout streak end, though with his perfect record still intact.
The unbeaten junior welterweight prospect outclassed Madrid’s Brian Palaez, cruising a ten-round, unanimous decision win Friday evening at Worthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt, Austria. Scores were 99-91 on all three cards in favor of Smith, who was forced to go to the scorecards for the first time since his first pro fight more than two years ago.
A sign of things to come was offered during the pre-fight entrances, with Palaez standing at the end of the walkway for the duration of his walk-out song before finally making his way to the ring. Once the bell sounded, the Spaniard sported a look of doubt as Smith quickly went to work in their DAZN-streamed chief support. A steady supply of jabs was offered by the Sheffield native, with Palaez not offering anything in return.
Smith connected with a five-punch combination in round two, followed up by a double jab and a right hand to the body. Enough jabs and left hands landed to produce a cut over the right eye of Palaez, though his corner did a superb job of keeping the wound under control.
Palaez attempted to force a busy pace in the middle rounds, repeatedly beaten to the punch but doing his best to at least put up a fight. Smith reached a point where he realized his seven-fight knockout streak would come to a close, even more evident as he was summoned out of his corner for the start of round seven to signal his deepest fight to date.
The final three rounds saw Smith offer lead lefts and body shots, while playing slick defense on the occasions where Palaez let his hands go. A looping right hand produced a cut outside of Palaez’s left eye in the tenth and final round, only adding to the one-sided affair.
Palaez falls to 10-6 (1KO), ending a two-fight win streak.
Smith improves to 9-0 (7KOs), the win coming shortly after extending for another five years with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing outfit earlier this summer.
Headlining the show, Croatia’s 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist and current heavyweight contender Filip Hrgovic (12-0, 10KOs) faces Montenegro’s Marko Radonjic (22-0, 22KOs) in a scheduled ten-round heavyweight bout.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox