Smith vs Eggington: Liam Smith hopes win over Sam Eggington will start another world title pursuit
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 23/01/19 3:05pm
Liam Smith believes Sam Eggington will regret taking a high-risk shootout, as the Liverpudlian vows to prove that he is worthy of another world title shot.
The 30-year-old has recently linked up with new promoter Eddie Hearn and wants to work his way back up the rankings, starting with a must-win meeting with Eggington at The M&S Arena in Liverpool on March 30, live on Sky Sports.
Eggington is also fighting to keep his ambitions alive following a shock stoppage loss to Hassan Mwakinyo in September, but former WBO champion Smith is ready to show that he still belongs at the top level.
"I'm in a vital part of my career now," said Smith. "I think Sam is a good opponent to get started. I wouldn't want a big southpaw coming for my first fight under you. I've got to put in a performance that makes you think you're right in signing [me] at this stage.'
"On that note, I feel it's a bad part of Sam to take the fight at this moment."
Smith admits he could do little to avoid his first career defeat to Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, a 2016 knockout to the Mexican star that ended his WBO title reign, although the Merseysider wants to avenge his points loss to current WBO champion Jaime Munguia last July.
"Those two fights, proper like night and day for me," said Smith. "Obviously the 'Canelo' fight, we all know how good he is - he was one, two, three steps ahead of me, everything I tried, but I'll stay in there and tough it out with anyone, if necessary, if I can do.
"The Munguia fight, I feel the momentum killed me. I had one fight in 10 months. He had five fights in 2018. In that fight, he was very, very green, and he wasn't experienced.
"Things that I could try early doors were just coming off, and then obviously he kicked in and I started to fade towards the back end, he didn't.
"That's a fight I would definitely love again down the line with momentum. That's a big part of signing for Matchroom. I feel they've got the dates, enough pull around the world to keep me busy."
But Eggington has seized a potentially explosive clash with Smith, a former sparring partner, as an upset victory would propel him back into title contention.
"I'm buzzing with this fight, I didn't expect any sort of fight like this, to get someone like Liam Smith, a former world champion," said Eggington.
"Like you say, I haven't got no pressure, I'm just going to put the work in, and come up on the blind side and get a win that no-one is going to expect.
"They've always been good, competitive spars. Probably could have sold tickets for a few of them on their own, so come March 30, it will be a fight not to miss."
Watch Ted Cheeseman challenge Sergio Garcia for the European title at The O2, London, on February 2, live on Sky Sports Arena, from 7.30pm.