LIAM SMITH is determined to return to America and make his name. After losing his WBO super-welterweight world title to Canelo Alvarez in Texas in 2016, the Liverpudlian has vowed to win back his former title from Sadam Ali.
Ali however will be a demanding challenger. He became world champion after a shock victory over Puerto Rican legend Miguel Cotto in December. When he fights Smith on May 12, at Turning Stone casino in Verona, it will be his first world title defence.
“I’m confident that I can go to the States and make the statement that I wanted to make the last time I fought there. People go to America and establish their name as a world class fighter by beating world level fighters. I went there and my first fight was against an elite fighter in ‘Canelo’ Alvarez. It would have probably been better for me to go over there and fight the likes of Sadam Ali, your people that have been around world level for years,” Smith said. “The first time I got over there was against Canelo and people have judged me on that fight against one of the world’s elite fighters. I’m looking forward to going back over there and beating a world class fighter in Sadam Ali, and then people will recognise me as a world class fighter.”
“I think the longer the fight goes on the more my size advantage will come into play. I’m confident going into this fight,” he continued. “Sadam Ali’s tail is up at the moment, he’s coming off the back of a win over Miguel Cotto and his profile has been raised from that fight. I was devastated losing my title against Canelo and I was gutted about losing my unbeaten record. I’m buzzing that I’ve got a chance to become a world champion again.”