Exclusive: 'Swifty' Smith staying at super-featherweight, praises Lomachenko and Frampton

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Stephen Smith has set his sights on making his comeback this year. Swifty has had some time out to assess things following his defeat for the super-featherweight title to Jason Sosa last November.

The Liverpudlian put in a sterling effort but came up just short of capturing his first world title. The 31-year-old is hoping to get back to winning ways and get back into title contention.

“The plan is to come back in the upcoming months and get back to winning ways. I haven’t been out of the gym so I’m fit and ready to get back into the ring so it’s just about waiting and hearing news about when I’m fighting next from my team,” Smith exclusively told World Boxing News.

“It wasn’t the result I had in mind, I wanted to become world champion but came up short and was absolutely gutted. Despite losing on points I feel like I put in a performance I can be proud of,” the Merseyside boxer said as he reflected.

Smith will continue his mission to become champion at super-featherweight, insisting it is one the most exciting divisions in world boxing.”

“I’ll be staying at super-feather, it isn’t a challenge for me to get at the weight so I’ll continue at that weight – it’s for me. The division is one of the best out there in my opinion, there’s so many big fights to have. But I’m not about fighting the big names and fighting for the money. I box because I want to be the best.”

The Joe Gallagher fighter paid tribute to P4P king Vasyl Lomachenko.

“Lomachenko is a one-off, a freak show. He’s just incredible. He has to be the number one Pound for Pound fighter in the world.”

Asked if the Ukrainian is underrated by fans, Smith replied:

“I’m not too sure, I don’t believe so in some respects, anyone who has watched him will tell you how good he is. His record speaks for itself, he’s an unbelievable fighter. The boxing world understand how good he is and rate him highly.”

One boxer who looks destined to move up from super-featherweight is Northern Irish superstar Carl Frampton. The WBA recently revealed the two-weight world champion is number 2 in their latest rankings.

Smith admitted he was slightly surprised by the news that emerged.

“To be honest I was pretty shocked because I expected Carl to stay in the division and fight Santa Cruz again. I thought he’d stay as I also thought he had plenty of things to do but fair play to him, he’s a smashing kid.

“If he was still world champion then he would have been mandatory to challenge for the title anyways. He’s probably thought to himself, ‘I want to become a three-weight world champion,’ which you can’t blame him for and I wish him all the best.”

Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95