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‘Friday night will be an execution’ - Royston Barney-Smith vows to end 2023 in style at York Hall

Royston Barney-Smith is determined to cap off a strong year with a win as he takes on Maicol Velazco at York Hall this Friday night.

The 19-year-old Queensberry prospect picked up three victories in 2023 and improved his professional record to 7-0.

The super-featherweight talent is now preparing for his fourth and final outing of the year – one which he hopes to cap off with an ‘execution’.

“Training has been going well,” Barney-Smith told Planet Sport. “I’ve had some quality sparring with the British champion at my weight category. Feeling fit, feeling strong, everything is going well.”

Velazco has a 10-13 record and will be looking to end his run of 11 straight defeats. When asked about his opponent, Barney-Smith added: “I’ve been watching him because obviously I’m going in there to fight him.

“I need to know what he does well and what he doesn’t do well so I can capitalise. I have been studying him, watching him. Friday night is going to be an execution.”

Barney-Smith was last in action in September as he picked up a points victory over Engel Gomez at Wembley Arena, on the undercard of Zhilei Zhang’s knockout victory over Joe Joyce.

“I did have a good performance last time out, I dropped him twice,” said the teenager. “But I should’ve stopped on the gas a little bit more to get him out there.

“Trying to get him out there, being a bit more assertive, stamp my mark a little bit.

“It was a good performance and trust me, on Friday night the same mistakes won’t be happening.”

Having bagged more rounds, more experience and more wins on his record, 2023 has certainly been a solid year for the super-featherweight prospect.

He said: “For sure, I’ve been out frequently, I’ve had some good fights. And I can’t wait to get bigger fights in 2024.”

Barney-Smith is looking forward to testing himself against better opposition, adding: “The type of boxer I am, the better the opponent is, the more I rise to the occasion. If they’re better, it brings out a better part of me.”

Fans can catch the 19-year-old in action this Friday night live on TNT Sports.

Photo Credit: Queensberry 

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