Normal service resumes for Smith
Liam Smith declared normal service had been resumed after his successful return from injury at the weekend.
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The Liverpudlian celebrated his 26th birthday on Sunday in style by defending his British light-middleweight with an impressive sixth-round stoppage of Midlander Jason Welborn at the Manchester Arena.
It was Smith's first outing since December and now he is setting his sights on landing a world title after taking his record to 17-0-1 (7KOs).
It's been seven months of frustration being out of the ring," 'Beefy' told sportinglife.com.
"It's been a long, hard road back to get fit but we're there now - there were no cuts and no problems with the hand so I'm a happy man.
"I was cautious at the start but it wasn't part of a gameplan, it was just down to being out of the ring for seven months. Had I gone hell for leather from the start I might have blown, not that I wasn't fit buit it's different being in the ring, under the lights than it is in the gym.
"I started in first gear but as soon as I went through them it showed.
"I was excited to be back and to be part of such a big bill, even though the top fight [Fury v Chisora] had been called off.
"I wanted people to know that I'm back and to start talking about me again. They had been after my last fight but the injury came at a really bad time."
Welborn proved to be a very game opponent, but was undone by a vicious body shot in the sixth round from which he failed to recover.
"My head shots didn't seem to be landing as clean as I thought they would be, whereas the body shots were," said Smith.
"But I'll always look to fight head and body anyway - there's no point in being a head hunter when there's a body to go for as well. That will be my style no matter who I'm fighting.
"I had sparred with him a few rounds before I won the Commonwealth title and I'd forgotten what he was going to be like to be honest.
"It was awkward at times as a lot of shots seemed to be hitting his gloves, so it was a case of picking my shots and getting the distance and timing right again because seven months is a long time to be put for.
"I probably put a bit too much pressure on myself at times but I didn't feel any nerves being back in action, I'm not the nervous-type anyway."
Smith needs one more successful defence of his British title to win the Lonsdale belt outright.
But he believes the time has come to start looking onwards and upwards with a world title his ultimate goal.
"There's a good queue of fighters behind me [at British level] and I'm happy to fight any one of them but I'll sit down with Frank and we'll decide which is the best way to go," said Smith.
"I'm also more than happy to step up in level so if a better opportunity comes along then I'd want to take it.
"I was no.11 with the WBO before the Welborn fight so hopefully I've moved up again.
"IBF champion Carlos Molina has been mentioned and that's the route I'd like to take. I know he's not a Jason Welborn but styles make fights and I think he would be good for me.
"I was speaking to Demetrius Andrade's (WBO champion) dad the other week in Liverpool and he said: 'once you go through that door you can't go back' and I know what he means by that.
"I could beat Molina but I'm then world champion and can't avoid anyone so what he was saying made a lot of sense.
"It's all about timing so I want to make sure the time is right if my opportunity comes along."