A Western Bulldogs premiership player has taken a monumental step in trying his hand at an alternative sporting code.
Clay Smith, who occupied a spot in the Bulldogs' forward line when the club stormed to a drought-breaking flag triumph over the Sydney Swans in 2016, strengthened his candidacy as a boxer after winning his maiden professional outing.
Smith, assuming the nickname 'Showtime', downed Matthew Erceg on Saturday night at Melbourne Pavilion in what represented his first professional fight since beginning in the code.
The 30-year-old entered Saturday night's bout with a 3-0 record as an amateur, training with the acclaimed Team Ellis Boxing at an approximate weight of 80 kilograms.
"Clay is ready to rumble, we're excited to see how he goes," Team Ellis Boxing trainer Antoni Topic declared prior to the fight.
"I think Clay can make a statement in boxing. He is the first to admit he isn't the most skilful guy, but he just has this country toughness and raw power.
"Matthew Erceg is a solid guy but I wouldn't be surprised if Clay knocks him out – he can really hurt his opponents."
Topic wasn't far off the mark, as Smith emerged victorious in a dominant debut display.
Smith announced his AFL retirement at age 25 following nagging injuries, including three debilitating knee reconstructions that limited his senior career to just 55 games.
"Boxing is as hard as it looks but it's rewarding at the same time," said Smith, who tallied 43 goals during his time playing in Luke Beveridge's Bulldogs forward sector.
"I'm new to the game. A lot of people start boxing at a very young age but, turning pro now, I have a lot to learn and the boys at the Team Ellis gym are sensational.
"My nickname will be 'Showtime'. My last two fights [would have] been first-round knockouts. I don't tend to use up all the rounds I am given.
"In boxing, you don't get paid overtime, so you go in, get the job done and get out."
Smith begins his professional boxing tenure 1-0.