PARIS SMITH’S coach Ashley Martin has lauded her recent gold medal victory at the schoolgirls European Championships as an “unreal achievement”.

The York boxer claimed the continental title in Georgia just over a week ago after securing a first-round stoppage in her semi-final before taking a unanimous decision in the final.

In doing so, Smith made history by becoming the first female fighter from York to represent England at a major international tournament.

Coach Martin, who trains Smith out of the Legions Gym in Clifton Moor, says he’s delighted with her accomplishment.

“I’m really proud of the history that she’s made,” said Martin. “To my knowledge, she’s become the first ever boxer from York to box for England and win a gold medal.

“She’s the first female fighter to do so obviously. It’s an unreal achievement and one that she should be really proud of.

“The whole occasion was brilliant. Everything that she did followed the game plan that we set. Honestly, as a boxing coach, it was the best day of my life.”

“We gave Paris a guard of honour when she came back to the gym. It wasn’t just the boxing team that turned up, it was everyone from the other sports classes was there and they applauded her into the gym on her first night back.

“It was good for her to see how proud we all were of her.”

In her semi-final bout, Smith showcased her raw power as she blitzed past Ukraine’s Olha Pylypchuk inside a round having forced two standing counts.

She backed that up by displaying her counter-boxing skills to take a decision win over the Irish Ava Henry Lyndon in the final.

“In the first fight that she had she followed the things that we’ve taught her,” said Martin of her approach.

“She hurt her opponent, she got stuck into her and forced the stoppage in the first round.

“In the second fight, the final, we knew that it was going to be a tough one. That’s the best boxing performance that I’ve ever seen from her.

“With Paris, her strength is one of her biggest assets. I think because of that a lot people do just look at her as a big strong brawler.

“But she can box as well as she showed in the final. She’s a very good boxer, but because she tends to knock a lot of her opponents out in the first round, she doesn’t get to show that.

“A lot of people commented that it was nice to see her box over the full three rounds.”

“Going the full rounds will help her develop and it’s all part of the experience. Moving forward she will be boxing an even better quality of opponent.

“There will be fights where she’s going the distance more often than not. In the sixteen fights she had, that’s only the third time that she’s heard the final bell.

As her amateur coach, Martin is usually the main corner man during Smith’s fights, though he had to watch from the stands as the England trainers led the instructions from outside the ring.

“It was the most racking experience not being in her corner for the fight, with it being the England coaches there,” added Martin.

“But Paris handled it really well, put in a great performance and did what needed to be done.”

There’s still plenty to come from Smith before the end of the year with a trip to Ireland, a home return in York and bouts in Sweden and Denmark all on the agenda.

“We’re going to Ireland on October 11 and 12 for the Esker Box Cup, which is the largest female-only boxing tournament there is,” said Martin of her schedule.

“Last year Paris went there and won a gold medal.

“Then we’ve got our home show on November 8 at the Acomb WMC which Paris will be a part of.

“After that, we’ll be looking at other international tournaments that Paris can compete in. I think there’s tournaments in Sweden and Denmark.

“Then it’ll be onto the national champions and tri-nations next year. So, we’re keeping her busy!”

Paris Smith is sponsored by Say Scaffolding and My Reset.