Liverpool’s Stephen ‘Swifty ‘Smith (23-1-KO13) challenges unbeaten IBF world super-featherweight champion, Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza (21-0-KO12) in Connecticut, United States, this Saturday night (April 16) as he looks to join brother Liam Smith as a second world champion in the family.
Unbeaten younger sibling Liam, holds WBO super-welterweight title holder and his other two brothers Paul and Callum are top class boxers in their own right. Paul is a former British champion and two time world title challenger.
Callum (below far left) is the current British, Commonwealth and European super-middleweight champion and rated as one of the best prospects in the UK and also tipped for world glory.Stephen Smith (2nd from right) with his British title and brothers Liam (right), Paul and Callum.
The 30-year-old Smith, sole career defeat came at the hands of current IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby in 2011. After the win Selby went onto world level and Smith moved up a weight and fought his way back into title contention and this great opportunity Saturday night. Smith earned the shot by stopping Devis Boschiero in the sixth round at Liverpool’s Olympia in September 2015 and as since waited patiently for this moment.
Switch hitting awkward champion Pedraza, won the vacant title in June last year when he outpointed Andrey Klimov on the undercard of Deontay Wilder’s world heavyweight title defence against Eric Molina, and has since defended it via a split decision points win against Edner Cherry in October 2015, his last fight.
It appears this fight was difficult to make or pin down. It was first mooted for December last year, then dates in January, February. It was then confirmed for March 26th, before being moved back again to April 16th. So both boxers have been out of the ring for nearly six months
Smith’s old amateur boxing club The Rotunda ABC in Liverpool gave their former fighter some encouragement and best wishes before he boarded his flight to America this week, when they made a banner with the words, ‘Goodluck ‘Swifty’ Bring the world title back to Liverpool – Best wishes from everybody at the Rotunda.’
It will be no easy task for Smith, the champion has impressed in becoming champion but looked far from the polished article in his last fight and Smith has gone over to America full of confidence and belief he can pull off the win.
British boxing is on a high at the moment and with Anthony Joshua adding some more spice to the pot on Saturday, taking the IBF world heavyweight belt from Charles Martin, the momentum is there and Smith is good enough to do a job and grab a monumental world championship win away from home.
We wish Stephen all the very best in his world title challenge and lets hope he brings another world title belt back to the UK to add to the other 12 we currently boast.
STEPHEN SMITH – “I RELISH BEING THE UNDERDOG! IM BRINGING THE IBF BACK TO LIVERPOOL”
video by PT Boxing