Stephen Smith (24-2-KO14) gets a second chance to become a world champion when he challenges WBA super-featherweight champion Jason Sosa at the Salle des Etoiles in Monaco on November 12th.
Smith, 31, from Liverpool, one of the four boxing brothers from the city, failed in his first attempt againstIBF holder Jorge Pedraza in April, but is confident this time he will join sibling former WBO super-welterweight champion Liam Smith in claiming a world tile. Younger brother Liam recently lost his belt to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in Dallas.
Sosa (19-1-4-KO15) will be making the first defence of his title against Smith. He claimed the strap in June after stopping Javier Fortuna in the 11 round rounds.
Smith admits he was surprised to get a second world title chance so quickly, and he is confident it is a fight he can win. “Sosa is a good, solid fighter without being spectacular in any areas but we all know in boxing, styles make fights, and I think his style will suit me,” Smith told Sky Sports.
“Pedraza was tall and rangy and looked to pick up on the slightest mistake but Sosa is short, can punch and will be looking for the big shots.
“My biggest asset is my boxing brain. It is grounded in me and will make me perform against this sort of style. If I could pick any style to go up against it would be Sosa’s.
“Technically he is very good and he’s not just going to tear into me and might be a bit more cuter than people think. But as I said, he will come looking for those big shots so I’ve got to set a lot of traps and use my boxing ability.
“This is the sort of fight I like and that suits me and one I can definitely win.”
Smith has boxed once since the Pedraza loss, when he stopped Daniel Brizuela on the Tony Bellew world title show at Goodison Park in the summer, and admits he was worried he would not get another chance.
“Looking back at the Pedraza fight, I was in it all the way and I definitely belong at this level, but I remember sitting there afterwards hoping I wouldn’t be sitting around for a long time to get another chance to prove it,” said Smith, whose brothers Paul, Liam and Callum are also former British champions at their weight.
“I knew Eddie Hearn has been trying to get a champion over and I was buzzing. Sosa has had a couple of decent performances and I know he was in talks with Geovante Dacis but read he’d priced himself out.
“But they got in touch with Eddie and took this one and I can’t wait. It is definitely I fight I can win and will win.
“Liam couldn’t have done any more against Canelo, who I thought was very good even by his own high standards. We were all proud of him out there and it would great to do it for my family.
“As soon as the stories about this fight with Sosa started going around everyone kept coming up to me and just saying ‘Monte Carlo on November 12? Wow! What a place!
“My brothers and the family will be there with me of course. I want to make them as proud of me as we all were for Liam. I know I belong in the world level and I know I can bring that belt back to Liverpool.”
The night will also see new Matchroom heavyweight Luis Ortiz take on Malik Scott on his European debut, Doncaster’s Jamie McDonnell defend his WBA world bantamweight title against Liberio Solis and Martin Murray try to exact revenge over old foe Arthur Abraham.
The show will be show live on SkySports