Liam Smith could care less about the doubters.
He’s not worried about Canelo Alvarez being a 12-1 favorite to defeat him and take the WBO junior middleweight title in the main event of a pay-per-view card at AT&T Stadium on Saturday night.
Smith the younger brother of Paul Smith and Stephen Smith, and the older brother of Callum Smith; all of whom are also professional boxers — believes his time is now.
Unlike the skeptics, he believes Canelo’s style will play right into his hands, with the victory going to the guy who makes the least amount of mistakes.
Smith is looking to shake up the world like Buster Douglas did against Mike Tyson, and sat down with BSO to outline his game plan for spoiling Canelo’s Mexican holiday.
BSO: Where did the nickname “Beefy” come from:
LS: I got the nickname from my father Paul Senior, who was a former Mr Liverpool body building champion. They started to refer to me as Beefy because I was a ‘fat baby’!
BSO: You are coming to America to firmly establish your name, has that always been a goal of yours?
LS: Yeah, it is. I usually go to the States twice a year I guess — training and sparring there. I’ve been in numerous gyms in the States — The Wild Card Gym, The Rock Gym,. If I didn’t have the bond with Joe and maybe if I didn’t have the relationship with Frank as a promotional company, I’d have probably moved to America a long time ago. I look to move there when I finish boxing. I love the States and making a name out there for myself is something I want to do.
BSO: How excited are you to be fighting in AT&T Stadium — home of the Legendary Dallas Cowboys of the NFL?
LS: No, I don’t feel any pressure of fighting in the States and in Dallas or any other place. I’ve been in the States and fought before. When I’m in that changing room, I’ll feel as if I’ve been in that situation before — in front of 80K. Obviously I’m going to have to deal on the biggest stage. This is the biggest stage — not the biggest stage in boxing by no means, but the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. But it doesn’t faze me and it’s one I’m looking forward to the finishing.
BSO: Canelo is a fight you begged for — why are you so confident?
LS: I’m coming to fight Canelo, and the world will be in for a massive shock. This fight is me making a name for myself the world over and establishing myself to the world of boxing and not just for British fight fans. If I could pick a style of a fighter, it would be similar of Canelo’s style. I always wanted a Canelo fight, a Cotto fight. A style like that is what I prefer to fight. This fight can only be a great fight. There’s no way the styles will make a bad fight ya kno. They gel well, and this is a fight, again, you’re going to see perform well in. This fight is right up my street as they say in the news. Canelo right up my street stylewise.
Canelo’s going to have his moments and I’m going to have my moments. It will come down to they can finish off their moments and finish the fight the best I believe.
BSO: How tired are you of having to listen to boxing analyst break down Canelo vs GGG — and he still hasn’t defeated you yet. Are you tired of having a third-party be the star of this fight?
LS: I don’t care about people saying they don’t know Liam Smith. All I ask is that after I beat Canelo — that they come back on the same social media, to the same magazine you criticized and make sure you come back on September 18th and hold your hands up and say Liam Smith won.
I don’t care though, because I’m going there and I’m fighting the biggest name over there and they expect him to fight Triple G, so I’m getting the backlash of that.
We can talk if you want about Triple G and Canelo, but after September 17 there won’t be no talk of Triple G anymore.
BSO: Did Canelo duck GGG since we’re on the subject?
LS: I definitely think Canelo ducked a fight with Golovkin. Because Canelo isn’t big enough. He went the totally wrong way about it, calling for the fight against Golovkin and then giving up the belt.
He told the fans he wouldn’t give up titles. He’s just not big enough to fight him. He will be under pressure in this fight to put on a performance and that’s because he has lost the respect of his people for giving up the title.
He’s ducked Golovkin massively.
BSO: You come from a fighting family, do you feel any pressure to one day be better than your brothers?
LS: No because we’re always so competitive regarding other stuff – I think I’m better at the footy and I’m definitely the best at snooker and pool – but we never put ourselves above one another with the boxing. We all rate each other and give each other 100% support, so I don’t worry about it.
BSO: Will use this bout and the coverage to continue to make fans aware of Autism and how it effects your sister?
LS: Yeah it’s important to our family. My sister is autistic. We try to publicize that as much as we can and raise awareness for autism. So it’s great for those American fight fans and the American fans and HBO can also relate to that and can see autism is a big thing. And my sister’s severely autistic, so she’s a massive inspiration to me and my brothers, and obviously to fans as well.
BSO: What about your style will give Canelo Problems?
LS: Well to start — he’s not defensively the best fighter, his non-punching hand is not very good, he doesn’t throw a left and he keeps his right hand on his chin.
Little things like that I believe give me the edge.