LIAM SMITH will now face a new opponent, John Thompson, for his fight for the vacant WBO light-middleweight title on October 10.
Liverpool’s Smith was due to box Michel Soro on the bill in Manchester, which also features Andy Lee-Billy Joe Saunders and Terry Flanagan-Diego Magdaleno. In statement promoter Frank Warren said, “Having agreed and confirmed a deal with Soro’s promoter and then having announced the fight, I was very disappointed to hear there was an internal disagreement between him [Soro] and his promoter. We didn’t wish to be involved in this dispute and wait any longer for this to be resolved which would have held up the WBO title and Liam fighting for it. Therefore we sought approval from the WBO for the next available contender which was John Thompson who jumped at the chance to fight for the World title. We’re still over six weeks’ away so Liam can adjust his training and strategy for Thompson who’s a tall, tough fighter and will be looking to cause a big upset by defeating Liam.”
Thompson said, ”I am ecstatic at the opportunity. I will look to take advantage of it and ready to win and become world champion. It won’t feel like fighting the road. I have family in Scotland, who will be at the fight. I’ve been there before and that was a pleasure trip, I am coming this time for business.”
Smith said, “I don’t care who’s in front of me, nobody is going to stop me from winning the world title. I’m not bothered about Soro, all I care about is Thompson and beating him and getting that belt around my waist. I’ve seen Thompson before as I keep my eye on everyone in the division as I might one day fight them. He’s tall and strong and can obviously bang a bit with his big upset in the Boxcino tournament. I’m more excited to be fighting an American as they bring that extra spice to the ring.”