Coming up tonight in Liverpool, England, former WBO world junior middleweight champ Liam “Beefy” Smith is back in action headlining the Sky Sports/Boxxer show. And, the former champ knows that in impressive win against Hassan Mwakinyo in the 12 round main event will put him back in the conversation for another one.
Smith and Mwakinyo both weighed in Friday afternoon prior to their showdown at the Echo Arena, with the 34 year old Englishman looking fit and ready,
𝘽𝙀𝙀𝙁𝙔 𝙒𝙀𝙄𝙂𝙃𝙎 𝙄𝙉!🥩
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) September 2, 2022
Smith previously lost his WBO belt to Canelo Alvarez by KO in September 2016 and then, he lost again in world title challenge to Jaime Munguia on a decision for the WBO’s belt again in July 2018 in Las Vegas. Since, then he’s won 5 of six bouts to stay relevant in the rankings at 31-3-1.
Smith told Sky Sports earlier this week,
“I’m happy that every time I’ve fought here in Liverpool I’ve been able to repay them with a win. Saturday’s going to be no different,” Smith promised. He defeated fellow Brit Anthony Fowler by KO in the same arena in October 2021.
As for battling the 20-2 Mwakinyo Saturday,
I’m the best 154 (lb.) in Britian. I’m hoping to become a two time world champion. I plan on dealing with Hassan, as I should….I will show why I am two levels above this level.”
The 27 year old Tanzanian 10 straight victories against mostly little-known competition and will clearly be the underdog in this one. But, he has also shown some punching power by scoring KOs in seven of his last nine victories.
Finally, Smith and his management know that Jermell Charlo has all four world titles locked up for now and two other mandatory challengers are in front of the Brit. Still, his promoter Ben Shalom believes there could be another move- up in weight for a title shot.
He told Sky Sports about the possibility of fighting unbeaten Janibek Alimkhanuly, who has been elevated from ‘interim’ to full WBO middleweight champion would be possible option,
“I don’t think Janibek is a fight he would avoid,” Shalom said. “Liam wouldn’t turn down any fight, especially for a world title, Janibek is probably the most avoided fighter in the world at the moment, genuinely. Everyone’s trying to jump out of the way of that one. Eubank could have taken it for a world title, [Demetrius] Andrade’s moving around.
“It’s one that genuine middleweights don’t want but Liam Smith is as I said a world-class operator and he would look at any fight with confidence. He’s going to have options.”
All of those conversations ramp up by beating Mwakinyo, first.