Win Or Bust In Vegas
Great Britain has had its fair share of world champions over the years. Sadly, it has had many fighters that have either not realized their potential or plainly not been able to cut it at the top level.
Stephen Smith is potentially falling down the road as one of these fighters. Stephen is the second of the four Smith brothers. Younger brothers Liam and more recently Callum have become world champions. But like older brother Paul, world honors have eluded Stephen.
Stephen was a distinguished amateur, winning a commonwealth games gold medal in Melbourne in 2006. Stephen’s pro career hit a bump in the road when he fought and lost to future world champion Lee Selby in 2011. But, after a promotional change and a move up to super featherweight saw him ascend the world rankings to a world title shot against Jose Pedraza in a fight he never really managed to get into. He quickly gained another shot at world honors this time against Jason Sosa, but again came up short.
This Saturday sees him taking on Francisco Vargas who himself is coming off a draw against Orlando Salido before losing his title to Miguel Berchelt in January of this year in which he faded in the later rounds before being stopped in the 11th.
Stephen had this to say to Sky Sports ‘”I’m not stupid. I know I’m not going to hang around, go back to British level and try and win a British title again. I’ve done that twice,” Smith told Sky Sports. “I want to try and win a world title, that’s my goal, and if I can’t do that, then I’ll be done in boxing,”
I think this really is last chance saloon for Stephen. A loss for Smith would leave him with nowhere left to turn, neither Pedraza nor Sosa are particularly gifted fighters, and with guys like Gervonta Davis, Tevin Farmer and Vasyl Lomachenko stacking up the division it is hard to see where Smith may fit in even if he is victorious on Saturday night.
That being said, I wish him luck.
By: Aaron Cooper