Exclusive: Stephen Smith discusses Francisco Vargas test, world title dream and Loma v Rigo

Joe Hewlett 19/11/2017

Stephen Smith gets the chance to shine on the biggest stage of them all as he prepares to take on Francisco Vargas in America next month.

‘Swifty’ will be making his first outing since producing a knockout performance to defeat Karoly Gallovich in Germany back in June.

And Smith will become the first Scouser to fly across the Atlantic to fight at the world famous Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

“It’s a big fight and a great opportunity with it being live on HBO, it’s the sort of dreams you have when you grow up wanting to be a boxer,” Smith exclusively told World Boxing News.

“He’s (Vargas) a very good fighter, you only have to look at his last three fights to know what sort of fighter he is. He’sall-actiontion fighter who’s hard and tough and has that Mexican style.

“You know what you’re going to get with him. He was WBC world champion only a fight ago, he’s a top fighter.”

If victorious, the super-featherweight is targeting a third attempt of world glory.

“There’s no name I’m interested in fighting next, I just want to be world champion, that’s my dream and that’s what I want. I’m under no illusions, whatever opportunity comes first I’ll take.

“Against Sosa, I didn’t box that badly it just wasn’t my night. In the third round I suffered a cut to the right eye, it was terrible, I had bad luck and it just wasn’t my day.

“I remember thinking during the fight, it just isn’t my night, I fought hard but just couldn’t get the win,” he said as he reflected on his defeat to the then WBA world champion.

Sosa was beaten in his next fight to boxing superstar Vasyl Lomachenko and the Ukrainian is fighting on the same night at Madison Square Garden when he takes on Guillermo Rigondeaux in one of the most anticipated fights in recent times.

Smith, 32, believes ‘Hi Tech’ has the advantage going into the contest and has backed him to beat the Cuban.

“It’s an amazing fight. I’m a big fan of both fighters and have watched them from their amateur careers and it’s fascinating. I’m a big believer that age catches up with everyone and I just think Lomachenko is bigger, stronger and has the fresher mind, his skills set are on another level.

“Rigondeaux is also great and on his day, he can beat anyone, but I just can’t see him beating Lomachenko. He’s the best in world boxing and the way he beat Martinez, it’s just the way he goes about it, it’s as if he sees a shot being thrown before it’s even been thrown.

“When he moves up, the better it will be, it’ll free up the titles and will give me an opportunity to challenge for a world title,” Smith concluded.

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