Smith fights as chief support on the Queensbury Promotions Terry Flanagan/Diego Magdaleno ‘World War III’ card against Thompson, whose team has promised that Saturday’s clash will show up the ‘difference between an A and a B fighter’, claiming their man has been sparring the likes of Andre Ward and Errol Spence in preparation.
The Scouser is aiming to be the first of his family of fighting brothers to lift a world title, after elder brother Paul came up short in back to back 168 lb challenges to Germany’s Arthur Abraham, and says all the talk from Thompson’s team in the build up will be of little consequence.
“I think he’s just trying to put a bit of fear in us naming big names from over in America,” Smith said. “What’s he sparring Andre Ward for? He’s a super-middleweight and nothing like me stylistically. And Erroll Spence? He’s a southpaw and nothing like me stylistically.”
Joe Gallagher, Smith’s trainer, was equally dismissive of all the ‘A’ fighter talk, referencing Thompson’s January 2014 loss to limited New Yorker Frank Galarza;
“The ‘A’ fighter got knocked out by Frank Galarza in two rounds,” he said. “So we’ll see Saturday night. He can’t hold a shot and he’ll be going down. End of.”
Thompson has rebounded since the Galarza loss and emerged as a surprise winner of the 2015 ESPN Boxcino tournament, disposing of fight favourite Brandon Adams in the 2nd round of the final, after being floored himself in the opening stanza.