Smith dreams of world title

  • By: Simon Crawford
  • Last Updated: May 20 2014, 15:14 BST

Stephen Smith insists a late change of opponent will not stand in the way of his dream of becoming a world champion.

Stephen Smith: Bidding for a world title shot
Stephen Smith: Bidding for a world title shot

The Liverpudlian was due to face WBC silver super-featherweight champion Fernando Saucedo, but the Argentine was forced out with a mouth injury and fellow countryman Mauricio Javier Munoz (28-4 11KOs) replaces him in Leeds on Wednesday evening,live on Sky Sports.

However, the 28-year-old insists he is happy to take on whoever is put in front of him as he targets world honours.

"It has caused me some disruption, but only to the gameplan. Physically and fitness-wise I'm ready to go," Smith told sportinglife.com at Tuesday's weigh-in at Leeds Town Hall.

"I've not had that much chance to look at him, only over the weekend really whereas I'd been able to look at Saucedo in plenty of depth.

"But I know enough and it's another good test. He's fought for a world title twice so I'm not going to overlook him. It's a massive fight for me and one I need to win.

"If Plan A doesn't work then there's plan B and C - I'm confident I can beat him in every department.

"It's still an eliminator for the full WBC title and I'm happy about that."

Smith (18-1 11KOs) had been due to face Saucedo in March but an elbow injury that needed surgery forced him off the show at the ECHO Arena in his home city.

However, 'Swifty' believes the break could work in his favour as he now prepares to take on 28-year-old Munoz.

"I had the operation which put me out for a week and then I had a week to rest so I haven't lost that much really," he said.

"It's been frustrating having to wait for this chance, but I think that has made me even more hungry and determined to take it.

"It's the biggest fight of my career opportunity wise and world ranking wise - the silver title is an interim world title and will put me next in line for the world title itself.

"In my opinion the WBC belt in the biggest in boxing - it's always been a dream of mine since I was a kid to be a world champion and I'd love it to be the WBC version so I'm delighted to be going down that route.

"I'm in a good place and looking forward to it. It would have been nice to have had the fight in Liverpool but Leeds is a nice place and it's not far away for us.

"It's only the second boxing show at the new arena in Leeds so it could be one of those special nights. I think it will be a great atmosphere and hopefully the fan will get behind me being from England.

"To be fair, it's not always easy to fight in Liverpool because when the crowd get behind you it can make you stray off your gameplan as you look into try and impress them.

"But I'm raring to go now and looking forward to it."


New Sky Bet customers: Free matched bet up to £30