Liam Smith returns to his hometown of Liverpool this Saturday, as he fights for the first time under BOXXER and Sky Sports when he faces Tanzanian puncher, Hassan Mwakinyo.
Smith is one of four brothers who box, as his brothers, Callum, Paul and Stephen have all stepped through the ropes. Smith's professional debut came in 2008, and he would make a statement on the domestic scene when he defeated Erick Ochieng in his 16th fight to become British super welterweight champion. After two successful defences, Smith embarked on gatecrashing the world rankings, as he would then defeat Zoltan Sera in three rounds to pick up the WBA Continental title. Smith would head down the WBO route, as he stopped David Ezequiel Romero in seven to pick up the WBO Inter-Continental title to line himself up for a world title shot.
Demetrius Andrade had vacated the WBO super welterweight world title and Smith would be in line to face Apollo Thompson for the vacant belt. Smith would grab this opportunity with both hands as he would sop Thompson in seven rounds to become world champion in Manchester. Smith returned to the arena in which he defeated Thompson for his first defence against Jimmy Kelly. Smith would almost mirror his title-winning performance as he also got Kelly out of there in seven rounds. Smith would get to defend the belt in his hometown next and would put on a show as he stopped Predrag Radosevic in three rounds in front of a raucous Liverpool crowd.
Smith would face the toughest test next, as he would travel to Texas to defend his world title against the pound-for-pound superstar, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez. Smith would be handed the first defeat of his career but would be commended for his valiant effort against Canelo. An all-British rivalry would be born next, as Smith faced the tough Welshman, Liam Williams on his return. The pair would put on a great fight but the fight was stopped when Williams was controversially pulled out due to a cut. The pair would run it back next and Smith would get the victory again as he got the majority decision. Smith would land a shot to win back his WBO title next as he would travel to Las Vegas to take on the new champion, Jaime Munguia. Smith came up short on the cards to be handed the second defeat of his career.
Smith returned to fight in Liverpool next, as he would face Sam Eggington for the WBC Silver title. Smith would get the job done in five rounds as he looked to embark on another quest to world title glory. Victories on the road against both Mario Lozano and Roberto Garcia would move Smith closer to another world title shot. Smith travelled to Russia to take on the undefeated Magomed Kurbanov. Smith would controversially find himself on the wrong side of a unanimous decision but this did not hold Smith back. Smith would bounce back and stop local rival, Anthony Fowler in eight rounds in an impressive display.
Last time out, Smith travelled to Madison Square Garden to face former world champion, Jessie Vargas. Smith became the first man to stop Vargas after a tremendous performance which culminated in a seventh-round stoppage.
Mwakinyo was a bit of an unknown commodity when he was ushered in as an opponent for Sam Eggington back in 2018, but he didn't half announce himself on the scene on that night. Mwakinyo came in and stuck it on Eggington early, with people in the arena seemingly bewildered by Eggington's performance in the first round. Round two saw Mwakinyo's relentless pressure continue, leading to him producing a seismic upset, as he stopped Eggington on his feet.
Mwakinyo returned to Tanzania to compete and instantly made a statement as he stopped Said Yazidu in one round. Mwakinyo went on a seven-fight winning streak before facing a former world champion in Julius Indongo. Mwakinyo impressed again, as he would stop Indongo in round four.
Smith and Mwakinyo look to move towards world honours when they square off this Saturday at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. The bout will be broadcast live in the UK on Sky Sports from 7pm Saturday night.