Mitchell Smith wary of “tough” Latin test

Mitchell Smith

Mitchell Smith - Credit: Archant

Former Welwyn Garden City Boxing Club fighter Mitchell Smith believes a win over Chile’s Cristian Palma in their clash for the vacant WBO Intercontinental Super-Featherweight title at Wembley’s SSE Arena on Saturday night will be a “wearing-down process”.

Following a four-month layoff, Smith knocked out Croatia’s Antonio Horvatic back in March at York Hall but is expecting a tougher test from the Latin fighter, his first non-European professional fight, this time at the weekend.

Smith said: “‘There’ll be new challenges. I’ve studied Hispanic fighters for a long time and they seem tougher human beings than Europeans, they certainly hold a shot better.

“Obviously I’ll be looking to hurt him as early as possible so I can have my own way but I doubt I’ll be able to just bully the lad. It’ll be more a gradual wearing down process.

“The kid has 20 wins on his record so he’ll not just be coming to ‘guard up’. From tapes, he seems quite game, he’ll come with ambitions. He’s been in with some very good kids.’

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The 22-year-old knows that a sizzling show on Saturday will likely see him crash the sanctioning body’s world listings. However, more immediately, he eyes a more local prize.

He said: “I’m still a few fights off world level. I need more distance fights. But the British title is a prestigious belt that I definitely intend to win this year,’ he confides.

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“As Frank Warren won the purse bids for the vacant British title fight between Ryan Walsh and Samir (Mouneimne), it should be easy to match me with the winner. I expect that’ll be Walsh but he’s not exciting enough to be our champion.

“He’s been trash talking me lately, saying my record is polished. But I’ve beaten more unbeaten fighters than he has.

“I expect European Champion Josh Warrington to get hammered by Lee Selby later this year and when he drops back down to domestic level I’ll beat him comfortably too. I don’t rate him.

“It’s my dream to top the bill at the O2 in London or even Wembley Stadium but you need a rivalry.”

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