Kieran Smith, the man known as ‘Chopper’ makes his return on Saturday when he defends his WBC International Silver title against fellow undefeated fighter Vincenzo Bevilacqua on a sold out #MTKFightNight at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
The action is live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and live worldwide on IFL TV, with Smith (15-0, 7 KOs) looking for his third win of 2019 following victories over Ivan Montero and Jan Balog earlier this year.
Unbeaten Bevilacqua (16-0) is up next for Smith, and he hopes a win there leads to him being let off the leash and securing huge fights in 2020.
Smith said: “Fans can expect entertainment in this fight, and then in 2020 I’m ready for big title fights and I want to get right in the mix.
“First I need to take care of business on Saturday. I am fully focused on that fight and I’m looking forward to facing off against an opponent who is 16-0.
“It’s definitely great to be back at the Emirates Arena too. It is a great venue and it’s growing every time, so it’s going to be another fantastic occasion.”
Kieran Smith takes on Vincenzo Bevilacqua in Glasgow
Kieran Smith (15-0, 7 KOs) faces Bevilacqua (16-0) live in the US on ESPN+ in association with Top Rank, and worldwide on iFL TV, on a huge bill that features the all-Scottish showdown between Lee McGregor and Kash Farooq for the British and Commonwealth bantamweight titles.
Rising star Smith hasn’t put a foot wrong in his career so far, and he’s excited for another step up when he returns next month.
He said: “I’m excited to get back in there. I have been working hard behind the scenes with my coaches and I’ll definitely be ready for this fight.
“It makes for a great clash due to him being unbeaten and these are the fights I want to be in. I don’t know much about him but I know he’s 16-0 so it will be good.
“This is a massive show for Scotland and you can see that alone with how fast it has sold out. I’m not sure how he’ll react to my loud support, but believe me he is definitely coming into the lion’s den.
“I cannot wait and the Emirates Arena is going to be rocking for all of the boys on November 16.”
Lee McGregor takes on Kash Farooq in an all-Scottish showdown
Lee McGregor has stressed the importance of Saturday’s British & Commonwealth title showdown with Kash Farooq.
The pair meet in an all-Scottish clash on a SOLD OUT #MTKFightNight Emirates Arena in Glasgow – live on ESPN+ in the US in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV worldwide.
While he retains full respect for former amateur friend Farooq (13-0, 6 KOs), McGregor (7-0, 6 KOs) is burning with desire to seize the glory and huge opportunities in the process.
McGregor said: “I think the winner of this will definitely quickly go on to challenge for the European title – probably in the next fight.
“A lot of people rate both myself and Kash very highly so it makes sense to say that the winner will go on to big things.
“So much can happen in boxing. For the next 12 months, I want to get through this as it’s the biggest fight in my career – then I’d like to fight for the European.
“If there’s a world title available at any point, I’ll challenge for it. I definitely want to be knocking on the door of world level in the next 12 months.
“We know there won’t be a single empty seat in that big venue on the night. That says how big this is for Scottish boxing.”
Lee McGregor is looking to add another belt to his collection
The undefeated ‘Lightning’ (7-0, 6 KOs) bids to add Kash Farooq’s British bantamweight title to his Commonwealth crown on a sold-out #MTKFightNight at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on November 16 – live on ESPN+ in the US in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV worldwide.
With all eyes on both sides of the Atlantic falling on the biggest Scottish bout for many, many years, McGregor is understandably full of fire.
McGregor said: “Winning the British title would mean so much to me but it’s not just about me – it would mean lots to my whole family too.
“My Dad has always said to me he’d love to see me win the British title so to do so in just my eighth fight two years after my professional debut would be great. I’m going to grasp this chance with both hands and take that British crown.
“I know Kash and he’s a good fighter. I’ve travelled all over with him as an amateur. I know a lot about him and I’ve sparred plenty of rounds with him. We know each other but we won’t look too much into that.
“I would say his strengths are his head movement and his timing. He’s got a few good attributes but he also has weaknesses I feel we can exploit. I’ll show them on fight night rather than talk about them. I’ll be victorious.”
Lee McGregor and Kash Farooq collide on an #MTKFightNight
Commonwealth bantamweight king Lee McGregor and British champion Kash Farooq will put their titles on the line on Scottish boxing’s biggest night for more than a decade.
McGregor (7-0, 6 KOs) and Farooq (13-0, 6 KOs) will collide on the #MTKFightNight at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on November 16 – live on ESPN+ in the United States in association with Top Rank and on iFL TV worldwide.
The event harks back to Alex Arthur’s title clashes with Willie Limond, Craig Docherty and Ricky Burns in 2003, 2005 and 2006 respectively and with an American audience now set to supplement huge domestic exposure, both men know the stakes are high.
Edinburgh’s McGregor said: “I know it’ll be the hardest fight of my career and I would say the same goes for Kash. I know it’s going to be a tough night but I’m going to be fully prepared for it.
“When I was a kid, myself and my Dad used to watch British title fights and he told me back then: ‘I want you to win that title.’
“This is the biggest fight in Scotland for a long, long time. You have to go back to Alex Arthur’s reign to find a comparison. It’s massive for me, for Kash and for all the Scottish boxing fans.”
Glasgow’s Farooq said: “This harks back to the golden days of Scottish boxing. There’s no bad ‘beef’ – it’s just simply going to be a great night for the sport in our country.
“Two Scottish fighters facing each other for these two prestigious titles is a rare occasion and it’s great to be sharing the ring with Lee McGregor.
“I think the place will sell out quickly and everyone in Scotland will tune in to watch.”
McGregor won the Commonwealth belt with a stoppage of Thomas Essomba back in October while Farooq claimed the British belt by blasting aside Jamie Wilson within a round back in September of last year.