Ray Moylette had his balls tested in more ways than one in Leeds tonight but ultimately sizable cajones weren’t enough to get past fancied prospect Dalton Smith.
The Mayo fighters’ nether regions got a hammering in a fight where Matchroom’s Smith flirted with disqualification – but it was the varied work to body and head from the Sheffield man that was the real catalyst behind the Islandeady fighter suffering a second career defeat.
Moylette marched forward for nine and third rounds trying to force the action, brave to the last, showing flashes of his quality and can be proud of his display.
He just came up against a fighter who could be as good as they say he is – and did so in what was effectively his first fight in three years.
The home fighter was made to work for his win, having to deal with Moylette pressure throughout. However, after relatively dominating proceedings and surviving a disqualification scare, he pulled out the finish in the last round.
Smith dropped the Irish fighter with a left hook in the tenth, true to his nature Moylette rose and went on the attack but was visiting the canvas again soon after. With any hope of victory gone Pascal Collins threw in the towel much to the former amateur of notes disgust, although it did look the right decision.
Smith came into the fight on the back of a solid start to a career that many claim is destined to be a great one. He backed up the hype thanks to nine career wins, seven coming inside the distance with a number coming against opponents with winning records. ‘Thunder’ had also picked up the English title and the WBA International strap before he passed the 10 fight mark.
Moylette on the other hand had fought one round in three years and was one of the fighters worst affected by the pandemic.
The Mayo man was more than aware his inactivity meshed with his solid pro record and standout amateur reputation made him the perfect blend of risk and reward for Team Smith, although he warned he was the vulture, not the prey, and was coming to upset a fighter Eddie Hearn billed as ‘one of the best prospects in world boxing’.
Moylette certainly started the bout like a hunter, on the front foot and pressing forward in the first round. He took some shots on the gloves and withstood some bodywork but landed some nice right hands and a double long left hook in a competitive stanza.
The European gold medal winner adopted a similar approach in the second, but Smith didn’t allow the Irish fighter to find any real rhythm and looked primed for a move through the gears himself.
Moylette looked comfortable in the third, although his opponent was busier for the most part. The World Youth medalists continued to push forward but loaded up with just one shot any time he cornered the Brit. An increase in tempo in the final few moments of the round saw him draw blood with a left hook.
The 31-year-old managed to close the gap in the fourth and got off combinations early on, Smith still possibly took the round but he was made work for every second of the three minutes.
Pascal Collins called for more shots between four and five and assured ‘Sugar Ray’ his opponent was tiring. However, just when it looked like it was time to try and force a momentum change, Smith landed a beautiful uppercut, forcing Moylette to take a backward step for the first time in the fight.
The Matchroom prospect started to show his skills and was enjoying himself by that stage, although Moylette landed a left hook late on to show he was still there.
Coach Collins instructed the Mayo man to take a round off heading into the sixth, he followed orders for two minutes couldn’t resist looking for work for the last minute. A right hand landed but Smith looked comfortable and confident at that stage.
The seventh saw Moylette try up the tempo before a blow,, so low it drew sympathetic gasps of pain from the crowd when replayed on the big screen, forced the St Anne’s graduate to take a prolonged break.
The referee docked Smith TWO points and warned him one more infringement and he would be disqualified, giving Moylette real hope in the process.
Moylette’s corner advised him he was entering nothing to lose territory going into the final three rounds and called for him to rough the Sheffield man up. However, Smith was proving difficult to close down.
Another low blow landed, hitting Moylette where it hurt and sending a jolt to the heart of Smith and his following. The ref gave the Connaught fighter time to recover but didn’t deliver on his promise to disqualify Smith.
Moylette came out hands down to try and unsettle his foe in the penultimate round but nothing was knocking the English fighter out of his rhythm and he finished the round sensible and strong.
A check left hook dropped him early in the second, sensing blood Smith went for the kill and dropped the brave challenger again, forcing Packie Collins to throw in the towel 49 seconds into round 10.
Moylette wasn’t happy, wanting to see the fight out, but considering he was so far behind on the scorecards it seems the right decision.
Photo credit Mark Robinson Matchroom