| Darkie Smith|
Darkie Smith Wikipedia
John "Darkie" Smith (born 1942) is a British former boxer, now employed in boxing training and boxing matchmaking. By birth a Romany Gypsy, Darkie fought in the UK until the age of 30. He served an apprenticeship under the pro trainer George Francis before setting out on his own. Smith has worked as a trainer in the UK, France, Spain, Majorca, the USA and Germany. Fighters trained to world titles include heavyweight Herbie Hide, light heavyweight and cruiserweight Fabrice Tiozzo, super middleweight Christophe Tiozzo and light welterweight Stephen Smith. He has also trained European, Commonwealth and British champions, and worked with other future champions during the early stages of their careers. These fighters include European Heavyweight Champion Zeljko Mavrovic and future world champion Chris Eubank. Darkie's work with Mavrovic drew much attention. Mavrovic was trained exclusively by Smith for five years, winning and defending his European title and finishing with a record of one defeat in thirty bouts. The one defeat amounted to a points decision against world champion Lennox Lewis, in a bout that saw Mavrovic concede a significant weight advantage.
Light welterweight Stephen Smith is Darkie’s son. Whilst working in Stephen’s corner in 2002 in a bout against Ricky Hatton, Darkie was involved in a controversial incident. Darkie ended the bout by jumping into the ring and pushing referee Micky Vann. He later explained himself stating he thought the bout had already ended before he entered the ring. His anger at Vann stemmed from his belief that the referee had ignored low blows and infringements by Hatton, failing to protect Stephen Smith. The British Boxing Board of Control revoked Darkie’s training license. The license was reinstated in 2004. Darkie has also worked as an actor, gaining a role in the UK gangster movie Sexy Beast.