Liverpool will grip itself this coming weekend as two of their best talents will meet in what is increasingly looking like a crossroads fight.
Liam Smith (29-3-1 KO 16) is all set to clash with fellow Liverpudlian Anthony Fowler (15-1 KO 12) at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. Both men are coming into this knowing that only victory will suffice come fight night.
For Smith a loss here could be the end of the road. A former world champion, Smith is stepping back down to domestic level with the Fowler fight, but what would a loss mean for the 33-year-old? Well, Smith has been to the top of the mountain, he won the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight title with a 7th round TKO victory over John Thompson back in 2015. He defended the belt twice in lowkey wins over Jimmy Kelly and Predrag Radosevic and then he dared to be great. In late 2016, he flew over to Texas to defend his crown against Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez, Smith would ultimately be outdone and stopped with a brutal body shot in the 9th round of the contest.
Smith followed the defeat with a couple of good wins over Liam Williams before failing to win his crown back in a points loss to another Mexican in Jaime Munguia. How has Smith done in the years since his last title tilt. He strung together three wins over the likes of Sam Eggington, Mario Alberto Lozano, and Roberto Garcia before travelling to Russia in his last fight in May where he was beaten on points by Magomed Kurbanov.
And that leads us onto Anthony Fowler. Fowler may be relatively young into his pro career, but he is now 30 years old and yet to have a real standout victory. His biggest fight to date came in March 2019 in his grudge match with fellow Englishman, Scott Fitzgerald. The fight was very nip and tuck but ultimately Fitzgerald’s knockdown of Fowler in the final round saw him take a split decision on the scorecards and Fowler drop his British title.
Fowler has rebounded since the defeat, a switch of trainer to Shane McGuigan has seen him look a lot smoother in the ring and he heads into the fight on a high having not lost since that night against Fitzgerald. His winning mentality may have been scratched his sole defeat, but his confidence and classy ability has been brought back to the forefront in recent contests.
It’s going to be a big night for the Junior Middleweight division with a total of three fights on the card. In the co-main event, British champion Ted Cheeseman (17-2-1 KO 10) will defend his belt against unbeaten Troy Williamson (16-0-1 KO 12). 'The 'Big Cheese' is always in entertaining contests and his fan friendly style should match up well with an opponent who is wanting to show a bustling domestic scene exactly what he has. Cheeseman was last in the ring in Gibraltar in March when he stopped another unbeaten challenge in JJ Metcalf. Williamson was last in the ring in April when he handed Kieran Smith his first career defeat by TKO.
The third Junior Middleweight clash sees Kieron Conway (16-2-1 KO 3) square off against JJ Metcalf (22-1 KO 13). Both men are on the comeback trail after defeats in their last fights. Conway was last out in America in May when he was narrowly beaten on points by unbeaten prospect Souleymane Cissokho. Metcalf was handed an 11th round TKO defeat to the aforementioned Cheeseman. Both of these men have fought Cheeseman with Metcalf losing and Conway fought to a draw in 2019.
Shannon Courtenay (7-1 KO 3) will defend her newly minted WBA Bantamweight title for the first time against unbeaten challenger Jamie Mitchell (6-0-2 KO 4). Courtenay is coming off a victory over tough Australian Ebanie Bridges back in April via unanimous decision. For Mitchell this will be her first fight outside of North America, her last fight was a victory over Noemi Bosques via a 5th round stoppage. Despite being for a world title this will be Mitchells first fight against an opponent with a winning record, a very bad look indeed.
It’s an interesting fight in the Super-Lightweight division as Luke Willis (10-0 KO 1) puts his unbeaten record on the line against the pint-sized powerhouse Rylan Charlton (6-1 KO 3). Willis was last seen in April as he secured a points victory over six rounds against Ricardo Fernandez. Charlton is a fan favourite and was last between the ropes in February where he was handed his first career defeat by Florian Marku via 8th round stoppage.
Solomon Dacres (2-0 KO 1) continues his career journey when he gets in the ring with seasoned journeyman Kamil Sokolowski (10-22-2 KO 4). Dacres was last in the ring in June when he stopped Alvaro Terrero in four rounds. Sokolowski was in the ring last in April when he was beaten by David Adeleye on points.
Blane Hyland (4-1 KO 0) clashes with Santiago San Eusebio (3-1-2 KO 2) in the Super Flyweight division. There will also be a runout for Natasha Jonas and Peter McGrail will make his professional debut.
Date: 9th October 2021
Time: Ring walk approx 22:00
Venue: M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool, England