Smith is chasing legends and belts

Smith Chasing
Photo: Terell Groggins

By Brad Snyder – The Undercard

When you think of Detroit Boxing, you think of Kronk, of Emanuel Steward, and of Thomas “The Hit Man” Hearns. And though many have come and gone on the boxing scene, a new top prospect has emerged.

With the word “potential” comes a ton of responsibility. The old adage is: if the word potential is used more than once, well, you have not lived up to it. But Da’Velle Smith has the Kronk, and maybe more important, Detroit, once again, on the tips of boxing scout’s minds. Smith, who says he is coming off the best few weeks of his life, cannot help but smile.

On the 21st of May this year, he welcomed his first child into the world. A beautiful son, who keeps him focused on the future. A few weeks later, he helped open the first boxing show in Little Caesars Arena on the Shields card, something Smith described as, “A dream come true.”

Smith has already been described as, “the next Hearns.” From a distance, wearing the classic Kronk shorts, you see the comparison in body type and look. But is it fair to put so much on a young talent? Smith (6-0, 5 KOs) says, “I feel honored to try to live up and, maybe, surpass the expectations.”

What people see is the right hand and the distance that Smith is able to keep, much like Hearns. His promoter, Dmitry Salita of Salita Promotions, states, “He is a priority. Da’Velle has big potential.” But, as I stated, those are some big shoes to fill. So, what has Promoter Salita so excited about this kid, who is 22 years old?”

An old timer from the original Kronk Gym told me that Da’Velle has all the potential to be in the middleweight division today…“what Hearns was in the welterweight division in the 80s. Those are big shoes to fill, but from what I have seen, Da’Velle has many of the ingredients including power, skill, and desire to be a real force of nature in the middleweight division.”

As of now, Smith has his next challenge, a bout scheduled August 8th in Memphis, Tennessee, to seek out his 7th win. The best thing about Da’Velle is, you can’t help, but root for him. His head seems right. He understands he must work to earn the respect in this sport. The road is long in pro boxing. It takes skill and luck to reach the highest levels. But this kid, at just 22, has people taking him seriously as a future champion. Just maybe the expectations are right.

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  • Hopefully, i loved Hearns always was my favorite of the fantastic 4..

    • Hearns made Detroit a fight town again-not so much since those days. Cards here now not very well promoted.

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