News | Nov 23 2017

Stephen Smith relishing ‘huge opportunity’ against Francisco Vargas

Joe Gallagher tells John Dennen why Stephen Smith will put himself back in the picture for a world title fight
Stephen Smith on Canelo Alvarez
Stephen-Smith  |  Action Images

LIVERPOOL’S Stephen Smith will travel to Las Vegas on December 9 to fight Francisco Vargas. It’s a non-title bout but Smith hopes victory will put in the frame for another world championship fight.

“Stephen Smith, December 9 a huge opportunity for him,” his trainer Joe Gallagher told Boxing News. “Originally it was the European title fight, then an offer came in for [Orlando] Salido and then he ended up with Francisco Vargas, who’s been in fight of the year for the last three years. He’s absolutely been in some right wars. It’s a huge opportunity for Stephen Smith. I think he’s the first Scouser since John Conte in the 70s to fight in Las Vegas. That’s a huge thing. I was really surprised when I read that somewhere.”

Joe continued, “Stephen is headlining a big fight there, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, a 10 round contest. The reward is worth the risk. If you look at the WBC top 10 super-featherweight ranks, I think the top seven are Mexican. Such a strong division, the strongest division in world boxing, super-featherweight. It’s just a shame, he’s travelled twice before, New York then Monaco, unfortunate and he goes again. I think he’s eight or nine in the WBC , Vargas is two. He’ll put himself back in the picture for a world title fight. He’s got it all to gain and not much to lose.”