Gareth Smith loses unbeaten tag but makes a jump in class
GARETH SMITH'S camp had no complaints at their man's points loss to fancied Ryan Farrag, insisting the Plymouth fighter can only benefit from stepping up in class.
Cosmo Gym's Smith was outboxed and outclassed over four rounds at the Echo Arena by Liverpudlian Farrag, whose 40-37 winning margin ended the city super flyweight's unbeaten start to life in the paid ranks.
Smith and Farrag was the 13th and last bout on the Audley Harrison-David Price British heavyweight title show and the two fighters eventually squared up at 12.40am Sunday morning.
Farrag, whose only pro defeat to date was against European champion Lee Haskins in the Prize Fighter tournament, dominated from start to finish, although the classy Smith rocked him in the third.
Royal Navy PTI Smith, like his opponent, is 24 and had been due to meet former British title holder Paul Edwards on the classy card only for the latter to withdraw a week before the big night.
Smith (2-1-0) came in at 8st 3lb and Farrag (8-1-0) three pounds heavier, which benefited the local boxer, but, insisted Cosmo Gym trainer Glyn Mitchell, neither he, his fighter or manager Rocky Christian had any quarrel with the verdict.
Mitchell said: "The points margin was a fair reflection of the fight – Farrag was just too good for Gareth on the night.
"I don't think the long day helped Gareth, waiting around for the green light, which eventually came closer to one o'clock than midnight.
"But it was the same for both men and we're not making that excuse and Farrag was always in charge, although Gareth rocked him in the third and he never gave up.
"Farrag is a good boxer and a former ABA champion, while Gareth is an ABA finalist and I think the difference showed on the night.
"He got his shots off quicker and cleaner than Gareth overall and, like I said, it was a fair result.
"But the atmosphere was fantastic – everything you'd expect from a big night – and I know Gareth was caught up in it, just as we were.
"And Gareth has shown in both his amateur career and now in his professional career that he's a learner and he'll definitely improve by meeting operators like Farrag and not just journeymen."