TRAINER Paddy Fitzpatrick says Sam ‘Sniper’ Smith is developing with every fight after losing to Shakan Pitters in the Ultimate Boxxer tournament last Friday.

Light-heavyweight Smith was hurt with a thunderous right hand from Pitters in the second round of his three-round quarter-final contest at the O2 Arena.

Pitters went on to win the eight-man competition outright, but Swindon trainer Fitzpatrick says Smith did well to match a man who was physically superior.

Standing at 6’6 and down from cruiserweight, Fitzpatrick revealed that Smith felt the power from the get-go in London.

“As I said going into that competition, there was no real favourite and the bookies’ favourite was knocked out,” said Ferndale Road-based Fitzpatrick.

“We lost to the light-heavyweight version of Lawrence Okolie because he is a beast of a man, he was massive.

“He’s down from cruiserweight and it’s a shame because when you have a three-round fight and you get dropped twice, you lose that round by three points. There is no way back unless you knock him out.

“I told Sam at the end of the first round he’d lost that round but he started to figure out what was working for him.

“In quite a few of the fights, the boxers were fighting out of their character because it was a three-round contest.

“But Sam showed composure and the first thing he said to me when he came back to the corner was ‘this guy can punch’.”

Despite the defeat, Fitzpatrick was happy with Smith’s display as he believes he has grown as a fighter from his latest outing.

“He got hit with a left hook then a right hand and it hurt him. The second one wasn’t really a knock down and he showed that he has learned,” added Fitzpatrick.

“You could see he was under fire and he realised he was in too much trouble, so deliberately took a knee.

“It was a great opportunity to move forward and raise the profile of Sam, but his career isn’t about three-round fights.

“I’m delighted he took a knee because it showed that he was composed under pressure.

“We have no complaints. The guy who won did his job and from a development perspective, we got what we wanted.”