EXCLUSIVE: Stephen Smith talks Lee Selby’s Josh Warrington defeat, long-awaited rematch prospects
Stephen Smith has opened up the possibility of a rematch with Lee Selby after the Welshman announced he is moving up in weight.
Selby lost his IBF featherweight title to Josh Warrington at Elland Road in May, and after the fight, he announced he would be moving up to super featherweight after struggling to make the featherweight limit of 126lbs.
One man who will be keeping an eye on Selby’s progress in the 130lb division is former opponent Stephen ‘Swifty’ Smith, whom Selby defeated via TKO back in 2011.
Discussing the prospect of a rematch with Selby, Smith told World Boxing News: ”Yeah, of course, I have said from day one. He beat me and I couldn’t make featherweight anymore and I would never go back to featherweight.”
Smith, who himself is coming off a technical decision loss to Francisco Vargas where he suffered a gruesome injury to his ear – which revealed to WBN had now fully recovered – is aware both men need to get back to winning ways.
“Now Lee is moving up it’s something that would definitely interest me. By no means would I ever call the lad out after he’s just lost his world title and I hope he gets a fight at super feather and gets back to winning ways.
“Likewise for me as well I got an injury in my last fight, if we can both get back to winning ways then maybe we can make it happen,” added the Liverpool man.
Prior to his shock loss to Warrington – Selby’s first reverse since 2009 – ‘Lightning’ had won 22 fights in a row and ‘Swifty’ had his say on his former opponent’s loss and whether weight played a factor in the outcome.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Josh Warrington, he performed brilliantly he boxed brilliantly. His tactics were great and a lot of credit should be shown to himself and his corner team. They got it right on the night, but it was a very good Warrington and a pretty flat Selby.
“Josh put on a very good performance and I like the lad, but you would be a fool if you said that was the best of Lee Selby,” Smith concluded.
There is no doubt a rematch between Smith and Selby would garner attention, especially considering the early stage of their two respective careers when they first met. But as Smith pointed out, getting back to winning ways is the priority for both fighters.
Thomas Davison is a staff writer for World Boxing News. Follow Thomas on Twitter @thomasdavison93