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Devastated wife pays tribute to boxer Billy Smith

By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: August 14, 2013

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A BOXER who tragically died at the age of 35 has been described as a good fighter, but a great dad and husband by his heartbroken wife.

Rose Smith has paid tribute to her husband Billy, opening up on the family life he kept to himself.

The 30-year-old, who said Billy is hugely missed by herself and their 19 month old son Billy Junior, revealed that the boxer hated being away from his family for more than a few hours.

She said: "He was a good fighter, but he was a great dad and a great husband. He was everything to me, and I am heartbroken."

Rose said the pair first met when Billy's twin brother Ernie began dating her sister.

"We got to know each other and started going out," she said.

"It was two brothers and two sisters together."

The pair were delighted when Rose fell pregnant with Billy Jnr, now 19 months old, and the first-time dad doted on his little boy.

"He didn't like to be away from us," Rose said.

"If he went somewhere, even the pub, he would be back as soon as he could.

"On our first anniversary we couldn't wait to get back to Billy — we were only out for two hours."

Billy had 161 fights under his belt, but Rose said it did not get easier seeing him step into the ring — admitting she had to stop watching in the end.

"At first I would get into the ring with him because I didn't like the idea of him getting hurt," she said.

"I ended up having to stay at home, but we would be texting each other. We were always texting each other and leaving little notes saying I love you.

"He loved his boxing, but he lived for his family."

The couple were married in 2011 at Llanelli Town Hall, and Rose said she gave her husband-to-be strict instructions before a fight the week before the big day.

"I said 'don't even get a mark on you', and he said he would go down," Rose said. "He went down in the first round and the person he was fighting was well pleased — but it was because I had told him."

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