Express & Star

Smethwick heavyweight Solomon Dacres has eyes on first professional title

Smethwick heavyweight Solomon Dacres has warned Robert Ismay he won’t shirk a battle as he looks to claim the first title of his professional career tonight.


Matchroom-backed Dacres faces Ismay in the latter’s hometown of Newcastle for the English title, in what promises to be a partisan atmosphere.

The former Warley ABC and GB Boxing ace got a taste of what to expect during a spicy pre-fight press conference, attended by several of the home boxer’s supporters.

But far from being intimidated, Dacres insisted the jibes thrown his way would only increase his focus.

“I love it,” he said. “They are here with their football flags, though football doesn’t have anything to do with it. There is nothing better than the guys coming to support him, rile him up a bit. That is just going to give me a bit more incentive to put the performance on that I’m going to put on.”

At 29, former national amateur champion Dacres is the younger man by six years and aiming to extend a perfect record after five fights in the paid ranks.

For Ismay, unbeaten in an 11-fight career spanning more than a decade, the bout realistically represents the last chance saloon. Once a promising cruiserweight, this is just his fourth fight since returning to the sport at heavyweight in 2019, after six years out with a serious hand injury.

In exchanges which, from Ismay’s side at least, seemed a little too passionate to be staged, the home fighter accused Dacres of under-estimating him. “You don’t know if who you are stepping in the ring with,” he said. “You haven’t got a clue. Your team hasn’t got a clue.”

He added: “I would have snubbed my nose at the English title when I was on the way up (at cruiserweight) but not now.

“I am having one last crack of the whip and I intend to take it with both hands.”

When Ismay, who has won two of his three heavyweight contests by stoppage, told Dacres he was yet to take a serious punch in his pro career, the Midlands fighter replied: “It’s called defence. I hit you, you don’t hit me. That’s the name of the game, isn’t it?

“His best performance is sitting in that chair with a mic. We’ll see if he can make the 10-round distance.”

Dacres has sparred Tyson Fury and former WBO champion Joseph Parker since beating Ariel Bracamonte last September and believes he has what it takes to one day challenge the best.

“I’m not far away. I have sparred world champions, former world champions. I’ve not been dossing around in the sport. I’ve been going round and facing the top guys in the gyms, putting the work in.

“I know I am not far off those guys at all. It is just a case of getting more fights under my belt.”