Smith prepares for big title night in Liverpool
PLYMOUTH'S Gareth Smith will be aiming to maintain his unbeaten record and win a new set of admirers on tomorrow night's big championship boxing bill in Liverpool.
Cosmo Gym gem Smith is on the undercard of the star-studded bill topped by Audley Harrison's tilt at winning the British heavyweight title from holder and Merseysider David Price.
Super flyweight Smith is matched up with late replacement opponent Ryan Farrag following Paul Edwards' withdrawal from the six-rounder last weekend.
It is still unclear, said Smith, just why former British title holder Edwards backed out of the high-profile joust.
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Although he knows 'practically nothing' about the man he will be facing tomorrow night, the Plymothian is just delighted to be fighting.
"It was a nightmare when I heard last Sunday Paul Edwards wasn't going to be fighting," said Smith, who is a PTI in the Royal Navy.
"You think all those weeks of dedication, sacrifice, sparring and training had all been for nothing.
"There's no way of describing just how depressed I was.
"Then I went from the depths of despair to walking on air again inside 24 hours when my manager Rocky Christian told me he'd found another opponent on the same bill.
"I don't know much about Farrag or his record, but I know this will be another great opportunity for me to let people see what I'm about."
Smith has only had two professional fights, winning both on points with ease, while Farrag, despite also being 24, has won seven of his eight fights with just the one loss.
Farrag's sole setback was on points to Lee Haskins in the semi-finals of the super-flyweight Prizefighter tournament last year.
Although Farrag was cut high on the head in the first and decked by Bristol's Haskins in the second, he survived to go the distance against the new European bantamweight champion.
What Smith may lack in experience among the paid ranks, he has a more than impressive international amateur career with England to counterbalance it.
He will also have his sparring partners, trainer Glyn Mitchell and manager/matchmaker Christian in his corner tomorrow night.