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Boxing: Smith gets rid of superstitions ahead of Games

Scottish boxer Kieran Smith has rid himself of all superstitions in his bid for Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow.

The 21-year-old middleweight from Greenrigg, West Lothian, used to go through a series of rituals before stepping into the ring.

However, speaking after a Team Scotland training session at their HQ in Bridgeton Cross in the city, Smith revealed his new attitude to his destiny.

"I used to have loads of superstitions but I put them out the window a long time ago," he told Press Association Sport.

"I used to bandage my left hand before my right hand, put my left boot on before the right boot.

"I would also listen to the same song - 'What I Know' by Rebelution - before I went out.

"But I think that sets you up. You are looking for excuses if you are doing things like that. It is just playing with your head.

"Do you think you are not going to win because you bandaged one hand before the other? I don't think so.

"The best man is going to win. I believe if you have trained the hardest and worked the best and get your tactics right, you are going to win.

"It doesn't matter what hand you wrap first or what boot you put on first or what song you listen to."

Smith, who got two and half months unpaid leave from his apprenticeship as a mechanic to prepare and fight in the Games, has also got his head round the need to start the three-round bouts focused and sharp although the feeling of confidence he has on hearing the first bell has not changed.

"You have to start fast, the way you want to go on because you have only three rounds to do it," he said.

"I never used to do that. I wasn't too good in the first round, I would go out and have a look but not now, not since the training programme changed.

"A lot of the training is about getting off the mark fast, winning the first round and if you win the first two rounds it is very hard for someone to come back.

"A lot of people get really nervous and scared. I get really excited. It is a celebration of the hard work you have done, a chance to show people what you can do and what you have been working on in the gym.

"I have never been the most talented in any squad or even in my own gym but I have always worked hard and hard work is why I am here today. Most of the boys here are probably the same."

Smith, who fights out of Shotts BC, looks forward to moving into the athletes' village on Sunday along with the rest of the boxing team.

He said: "I can't wait. It will be really good. We are really close knit.

"Most of us have trained together as a team for a few years now. A couple of youngsters have come in and fitted in well.

"We try to push each other as a team and you will see that throughout the Games."

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