Earlier this month saw Liam Smith silence the critics as he won repeat over revenge, defeating British foe Liam Williams in their hotly-anticipated rematch.
‘Beefy’ won via a unanimous decision placing him as mandatory for the WBO light-middleweight strap. Miguel Cotto makes a defence of his title against Sadam Ali, though is set to hang up his gloves afterwards – regardless of the result.
His brother and fellow boxer Stephen Smith shared his delight for the Frank Warren promoted fighter after producing a much-needed display.
He exclusively told World Boxing News: “After the first fight he took a lot of stick, especially because he didn’t make the weight. He got on with it and accepted the stick he got. The first fight drew up a lot of questions with the way it ended so Liam was desperate to win the rematch in style.
“He was the better man and the difference this time being, he got the jab going and put the fight onto Williams. He did exactly what he said he would do in the first half of the fight and in the second half of the fight he said he was going to put the fight on him.
“But he said to me after, he felt so comfortable after the opening six rounds and felt in so much control with the jab, he didn’t feel like he had to put the pressure on as he was ahead. He was waiting for Williams to make the change, but he didn’t.
“At the end of the day he got the job done and can look forward to attempting to become world champion again,” he said.
Liam Smith will be an avid watcher of the tussle between Cotto and Ali next month, which takes place at Madison Square Garden on December 2.
And ‘Swifty’ reckons the title will become vacant.
“Whether Cotto will win and do a U-turn is another thing, I think it’s very unlikely which means Liam could be fighting for the vacant title if Cotto wins.
“But he can go away, enjoy Christmas and watch the fight with immense interest knowing he’ll be fighting for the title next regardless,” he added.
Joe Hewlett is lead writer for World Boxing News. Follow Joe on Twitter @Hewlett95