Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith became the first of the famous fighting Smith brothers from Liverpool to become the world champion last night in Manchester, and boy – did he do it in style.
Fighting for the vacant WBO light-middleweight crown against tall American John Thompson (from Newark, New Jersey), Smith had to come from behind in what was a dramatic win in the end.
Smith (27) started rather slowly in the fight, with not much of a high tempo to his work at all. This allowed American Thompson to get ahead early on the cards.
However as the contest progressed Smith began to come alive, namely from the 5th round on.
Thompson at times was outboxing Smith but the Liverpool man’s power began to tell, to which the American was clearly having trouble with in the 5th.
‘Beefy’ then upped the ante in the 6th, stunning Thompson towards the end of the round with some sharp combination work, leaving him dazed and confused – but just about able to reach the bell.
The writing was on the wall by this point however and Smith sensed as much, going in for the kill in round seven and connecting with a beautiful right hand bomb that sent Thompson crashing to the floor, unable to continue and the referee rightly called halt to proceedings.
The win takes the unbeaten and new world champion Liam Smith to 21-0-1 as a professional, with very bright boxing pastures ahead.
(Image credit: ITV.com)
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