Liam Smith makes a hero’s return to Liverpool this summer to make the second defense of his WBO Super Welterweight title at the Echo Arena on Saturday June 4th against an opponent to be announced. The Scouse warrior will headline an action-packed show in his first fight in Liverpool in over a year.
Smith become Liverpool’s first World Champion in 22 years last October when he stopped American John Thompson in the seventh round to claim the vacant WBO Super-Welterweight crown.
His finishing was as emphatic as his game plan. A brutal right-hand, left hook combination finished Thompson just past the halfway point in the seventh.
Following his sensational performance against Thompson, Smith returned to the Manchester Arena two months later to make the first defence of his newly attained title against Mancunian Jimmy Kelly on the undercard of Billy Joe Saunders’ world title showdown with Andy Lee.
In the first Manchester versus Liverpool world title showdown in over 80 years, Smith blasted out his unbeaten rival with another seventh round stoppage. After emphatically announcing himself on the world stage ‘Beefy’ is now looking forward to making a hero’s return to his beloved home city.
He said: “I was gutted to miss out fighting on the massive Flanagan versus Mathews bill but my body has had a good rest and now I’m looking forward to making my home return. Winning and defending my first ever world title in Manchester was an incredible experience but nothing beats fighting in front of your own people,”
“There’s no better crowd to fight in front of. I’m a proud Liverpudlian and the Echo Arena holds many happy memories for me. I won the WBA Continental title against Zoltan Sera there back in 2014 and then beat David Romero to take the WBO Inter-Continental title in 2015. It’s going to be another special night there on June 4,” added Smith.
27-year-old Smith, who has a record of 22 wins unbeaten with 12 KOs, harbours ambitions of unifying the 154-pound division with WBA champion Erislandy Lara and undefeated IBF titleholder Jermall Charlo on the list of future targets.
“2016 is going to be an even better year for me,” said Smith. “2015 was an unforgettable year, I got a shot at the world title and then defended it against a tough opponent in Jimmy Kelly but this year is going to be even more special.
“I’m in this sport to face the best and if the opportunity presents itself I would love to unify the titles against the very best in my division. Fans deserve to see the best fights and having all the champions face each other makes sense. I believe I can beat anyone in the division and I want to go in there and prove it.”
Smith will headline an action-packed card with more title fights to be announced.