Former world champion Liam Smith takes on Sam Eggington in Liverpool on Friday night in his first fight under the Matchroom Boxing banner having not fought in his home city since June 2016. In that bout, he successfully defended the WBO light-middleweight title against Predrag Radosevic.
Smith, one of four brothers who have all fought at world level, believes he has something to prove to his new promoter Eddie Hearn in front of his home crowd as he targets another shot at world title glory. He lost the crown to Mexican star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in September 2016.
“I’ve got to prove a point to Matchroom that I was worth signing and show them that they made the right decision,” said Smith, who moved camps from Frank Warren’s stable in an amicable switch earlier this year.
“Everything has come at a great time for me. I’m back in Liverpool topping the bill against a decent opponent that a lot of the British public know. The buzz since the fight has been announced has been great. But I’m at a vital part of my career now, and I need to make a statement. I feel like I’m turning pro all over again. This is a new lease of life for me and exactly what I needed at this stage of my career. It’s my tenth fight at the arena in Liverpool and I’m 9-0 in there, so I look forward to making that 10-0.”
Meanwhile, bad blood has emerged in the last 48 hours ahead of the heavyweight clash between David Price and undefeated Midlands fighter Kash Ali.
Price, the former British and Commonwealth champion, fights in is home city for the first time in nearly three years and at 4-4 in his last eight appearances. He says he must “destroy” his 15-0 opponent who labelled Price “a quitter” at this week’s press conference.
“I really took offence at that, because if he had been through what I’ve been through he would realise that he has no right to call me that,” Price said.
“All he has done by saying that is light a fire under me. I’m looking to put him to sleep in that ring. In a lot of peoples eyes, I’m shot, I’m this and I’m that. I’m just enjoying not having any pressure on me and I can’t wait to get another win in front of my home fans.”
Anthony Fowler – the cousin of former Liverpool footballer Robbie Fowler – has promised to prove he is a level above Scott Fitzgerald by taking him out in five rounds when the bitter rivals clash for the WBA International light-middleweight title.
Fitzgerald will be aiming to avenge an amateur defeat at the hands of ‘The Machine’ but the Liverpudlian, now trained by Dave Coldwell in Rotherham, is determined to finish their rivalry off in style to set-up another huge domestic showdown with British champion Ted Cheeseman in the summer. That fight, if Fowler is victorious, has already been mandated by the British Boxing Board of Control.