|Fowler vs Fitzgerald, Hughes vs. Davies Jnr and David Price feature on stacked bill|
|Liam Smith will make his long-awaited Liverpool homecoming on March 30 when he takes on Sam Eggington at the M&S Bank Arena, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.|
Smith became Liverpool’s first World Champion in over 20 years when he stopped American John Thompson to claim the WBO Super-Welterweight crown at the Merseyside arena in 2015 before making a second successful defence of the title against Predrag Radosevic at the same venue in 2016.
‘Beefy’ hasn’t fought in his home city since and is itching to get back under the lights as he sets about winning back a version of the World title he bravely lost against pound-for-pound star Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Texas in 2016, and in doing so becoming the city’s first two-time World Champion.
Former European Welterweight Champion Eggington knows he is fighting for his career after suffering a shock stoppage defeat to Tanzania’s Hassan Mwakinyo at Arena Birmingham in September.
‘The Savage’ was preparing to face former World ruler Brandon Rios at Wembley Stadium when he was wiped out by the dangerous African, but the Stourbridge man believes a win against Smith would put his name back in the mix for title action at 154lbs.
“It’s a very good fight for me,” said Smith. “I’ve done a lot – and I mean a lot – of sparring with Sam. You know what you are going to get with him. He comes to fight. You aren’t sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what he’s going to bring. You know exactly what he’s bringing.
“It’s the same with me and you know this is going to gel into a good fight. We will meet in the middle. It’s what we both do. I do feel, though, I do everything better than him and beyond. I feel if I ‘turn up’, you will all see what I mean.
“I am a big way back into boxing for him. And as we’ve sparred a lot, whatever confidence he can draw, he will try and draw some from that.
“I’ve got to do a proper job on Sam and a proper job is what I truly believe I will do. Having those little gloves on are so different to sparring and with those 10oz gloves on, I am massively confident I will find those gaps. Everything I throw will hit Sam and I just feel I have too good a variety for him to carry on going.”
Super-Welterweight rivals Anthony Fowler and Scott Fitzgerald put their unbeaten records on the line when they meet in one of the most eagerly-anticipated domestic clashes of the year. Preston’s Fitzgerald says he is a “different level” to Fowler’s previous opponents but ‘The Machine’ has vowed to “go through” his former teammate to set-up a mouth-watering clash with British Champion Ted Cheeseman.
Also on the bill, newly-crowned European Super-Lightweight Champion Joe Hughes clashes with Liverpool’s British Champion Robbie Davies Jnr in another tasty domestic showdown.
Malmesbury’s Hughes will be looking to build on a career-best win after he finally got his hands on the European title at the second time of asking after dominating Andrea Scarpa in Italy. Davies Jnr is looking to take another step up after claiming the British and Commonwealth titles in a bloody and bruising war with Glenn Foot at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle last October.
Popular Heavyweight David Price fights in Liverpool for the first time in nearly three years as he looks to make a fresh charge on the Heavyweight division following his recent win over Tom Little at The O2.
There’s also action for rising Liverpool Cruiserweight talent Craig Glover and ‘Miss GB’ Natasha Jonas, with Liverpool Super-Lightweight Tom ‘Fazza’ Farrell aiming to impress in front of his home crowd and undefeated Super-Lightweight Ged ‘G-Man’ Carroll looking to improve to 10-0.
“I can’t wait to be back in Liverpool on March 30, I love it there!” said Eddie Hearn. “This is one of the best all domestic cards we have put on in the city – Liam Smith returns from his World title defeat to face the all action Sam Eggington in what will be an absolute war and Anthony Fowler faces off against ex GB teammate Scott Fitzgerald in another crunch 154lb clash.
“The British and European Super-Lightweight titles are on the line for Liverpool’s Robbie Davies Jnr and Joe Hughes and big David Price fights in Liverpool for the first time in nearly 3 years as he looks to make a charge in the Heavyweight division after his recent win at The O2. There’s plenty more action with rising Cruiserweight Craig Glover, Tom Farrell and Natasha Jonas – it’s going to be a busy night and a great event on March 30.”
Tickets for Smith vs. Eggington priced at £40, £60, £100 and £200 (Inner Ring VIP) are available to Fight Pass members via StubHub (www.stubhub.co.uk) at midday on Tuesday January 22.
General Sale tickets are available to purchase via the M&S Bank Arena (www.mandsbankarena.com), Matchroom Boxing (www.matchroomboxing.com) and StubHub at midday on Wednesday January 23.
|‘Beefy’ out to recapture World title in 2019|
|Liam Smith has signed a three-fight promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing. |
The former WBO Super-Welterweight World Champion will make his debut under the Matchroom banner at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool on March 30, live on Sky Sports and DAZN, and will be aiming to become a World Champion once again in 2019.
“I’m delighted to be signing with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing,” said Smith. “I feel like I’m turning pro all over again. This is a new lease of life for me and exactly what I needed. I felt like I was going a little bit stale and under the radar.
“Without being big-headed, I still feel that I’m the best Light-Middleweight in Britain. I had a bad year in 2018 and with the move to Eddie I’m hoping for an active and exciting 2019.
“I can’t wait to get out in front of my home crowd in Liverpool on March 30 – nothing beats it. With Eddie’s deal with DAZN, there’s a lot of opportunities to take on the big names in America – it was the best move for me at this stage of my career and I’m very excited.
“I’ve always had a good relationship with Eddie and I’m happy to be working with him. The Kell Brook fight is a big fight and it’s one that could come into play but I haven’t signed with Matchroom just to fight Brook. I’ve signed with Matchroom to try and become a World Champion again and I believe that Eddie’s the man to take me there.”
“I’m delighted to welcome Liam to the team,” said Eddie Hearn. “Liam is the only Smith brother we haven’t worked with and I feel he has plenty of big fights left in the tank. He has only ever lost at elite level against Canelo and Munguia and has boxed on a huge stage and platform in the US. He will return to Liverpool on March 30 as he sets out to try and regain his World Light-Middleweight title later this year.”
LIAM SMITH has revealed that top of his boxing bucket list is to defend the WBO super-welterweight title at Anfield – home of his beloved Liverpool football club.
‘Beefy’ bids to win back his old crown when he challenges Mexican star Jaime Munguia (29-0) at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas on Saturday night.
Smith (26-1-1) believes that becoming the first two-time world champion from Liverpool will mean all roads lead to a big fight at Anfield next summer.
He is a mad Liverpool fan and many of his Saturday’s and midweek evenings are spent sitting in the famous Kop end.
He explained: “I did a boxing bucket list and fighting for a world title in Las Vegas was one of the very last things on it and that is what I am doing.
“I added to the bucket list the other day because the only thing not ticked was to win a British title outright.
“I won a professional title, a British title, a world title, defended a world title and the next one is this fighting for a world title in Las Vegas.
“I put one more on it and that is to fight at Anfield. I had to add something big because when I do beat Munguia, Anfield becomes a big possibility.
“There has been meetings about different events at Anfield and I think they are keen on boxing taking place there.
“My promoter Frank Warren recently did Lee Selby and Josh Warrington at Elland Road, David Haye fought at Upton Park and of course there is Anthony Joshua at Wembley and Cardiff.
“I think Anfield want to get involved and they can with myself, my brothers and other Reds who are professional boxers. It is realistic.
“Anfield have seen what these events can do and me fighting there could be the first boxing event.”
Smith hopes that beating the unbeaten champion who will be making the first defence in the BT Sport televised clash will be a fantastic early birthday present ahead of his 30th next week.
He added: “I have dreamt of fighting in Las Vegas since I was 17 or 18 years old, but it is more than boxing there and I will be gutted if I don’t win.”
LIAM WILLIAMS BELIEVES his fellow super welterweight Liam Smith is in for a tough night against the Mexican banger Jaime Munguia in Las Vegas this weekend, but suspects his old adversary has got what it takes to repel the fire of the 21-year-old and take the fight to the wire.
Munguia stepped in to replace mandatory challenger Smith back in May when Sadam Ali – who defeated Miguel Cotto in his final fight – held the WBO world super welterweight title.
Munguia caused something of an upset by flooring Ali four times on his way to a fourth round stoppage and the former WBC Latino champion must now fulfil the mandatory obligation against Smith.
Munguia has only been taken the distance four times in his 29 fights so far, with three of those coming in his early four and six rounders.
So Smith, as Williams suggests, is up against a bit of a puncher.
“Yes he looks good and looks like he can punch a bit,” said the Welshman, who fought Smith twice in 2017, losing the first due to a severe cut and the second via a majority points decision.
“It is a difficult one to call really because Liam is so tough and durable and he is actually a lot more skilful than people give him credit for.
“People think he is very basic and just comes forward, but when you are actually in the ring with him he is a lot more effective than he looks from the outside.”
Williams, however, was at a bit of a loss when it came to actually picking a winner in a fight that will be screened live and exclusive on BT Sport 1 from 3am on Sunday morning from the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
“I don’t know, it is such a close one to call and I think it is one that will come down to the wire and go the distance. It could be a really gruelling fight and very close.”
He might have struggled to pick a winner, but the 26-year-old did not hedge his bets when asked if he would like a shot at the winner. Williams is preparing for an expected September return in new surrounding under recently appointed trainer Dominic Ingle in Sheffield.
“One hundred per cent I would fancy it with either of them,” he insisted. “Whoever wins, I can’t really see myself being in position to get the next shot, but I would certainly take it.
“I am back on a roll now, I feeling good and I am re-motivated, which a lot of people didn’t realise I needed because I never really said anything.
“Even for the second Smith fight I was lacking in motivation and didn’t really care enough. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to win and I tried, but I didn’t have the motivation I should have had.
“What’s done is done and I am excited now by what is to come.”
LIAM SMITH will be fired up by critics who have trashed his chances of taking the WBO super-welterweight title challenge from Jaime Munguia in Las Vegas on Saturday July 21.
The Liverpool boxer will be attempting to regain the title he lost against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in September 2016 when their clash drew 51,000 fans to the AT&T Stadium in Dallas.
Munguia, 21, has won all 29 professional fights with 25 wins coming by KO. He caused an upset in May when he ripped the title from Sadam Ali – stopping the defending champion in four rounds.
But Smith is ready to ruin the Mexican’s first defence at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and earn himself huge unification clashes that will set him up for life.
Smith, 29, said ahead of the fight that will be shown by BT Sport: “I will be gutted if I don’t win this fight.
“I am a little bit more hungry because a few people have written me off so I’m gonna make them eat their words.
“It has given me a little bit more fire. I want to become a world champion again.”
“Munguia is a good fighter. He is big for the weight and it doesn’t take a genius to see he can punch.
“He is one of those young, enthusiastic fighters who is trying to make a statement in every fight and he’s just getting better and better.
“It is winnable, but it is what a world title fight should be. I’m a challenger, on the road and it should be a tough fight.”
Smith whose only defeat in 28 fights came against Canelo is taking little notice of Munguia’s win against Ali.
He explained: “Sadam Ali was in the right place, right time when he beat Miguel Cotto to win the title, but I still thought he might have had too much nous for Munguia.
“I watched Munguia in February before there was talk of him fighting any of the names and classed him as a decent prospect who was coming through.
“Apart from Sadam he hasn’t fought any one of note. If you look at his record there is not one other person there where you’d say, ‘Look he has beaten, him’.
“The way the fight happened I wasn’t fully surprised because it was basically a middleweight against a welterweight.
“I am not small for a super-welterweight though and that is one reason why I am not fazed by this. I’m big enough myself and confident in my own size.”
If Smith wins he will become the first two-time world champion from Liverpool and is the first scouser to top the bill in the world’s fight capital.
He said: “For someone who didn’t want to box as a kid I’ve fought Canelo in Dallas, and now I am topping the bill in Las Vegas on BT Sport and HBO.”