Thursday, February 18, 2010

Paul Smith meets local rival Tony Dodson

Paul Smith has told promoter Frank Warren not to prepare world title shots for just Kevin Mitchell and Nathan Cleverly. That's because the scouser is determined to join his fellow Brits in their charge to the top. Smith defends his British super-middleweight title against local rival Tony Dodson at the Liverpool Echo Arena on March 12 live on Sky Sports 1. It's his first fight since winning the Lonsdale belt in a thriller against Tony Quigley. And the 27-year-old says that a second victory against another Liverpudlian can take him a step close to a world title opportunity.
Currently number four with the WBO, Smith says he's been inspired by the exploits of Mitchell and Cleverly at the weekend. "British boxing is buzzing right now and I want to get in on the act," said Smith. "I watched Kevin and Nathan on Saturday night and they were a real inspiration. "They are ready to make a step up to the next level, but so am I. "Hopefully we can all be boxing for world titles before the end of the year and really get the sport going again. "I remember a few years ago when we had seven or eight world champions. "We've got three at the moment but everyone wants more and I think that is going to happen in the coming months and years. "I've told Frank not to forget about me when he's sorting out world title fights for Cleverly and Mitchell!" Smith, who has lost just one of his 29 fights, knows that his clash with Dodson could be the hardest of his career. "I'm not underestimating Dodson at all," he said. "He's a tough fighter and I have a lot of respect for what he can do between the ropes. "But I need to beat these guys if I want to win a Lonsdale belt outright. That's always been my ambition and hopefully I can do that and then move on to bigger and better things."

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