Former two-time British super-middleweight champion and world title challenger Paul Smith Jr. revealed plans this week for a property development project in Liverpool.
Smith, a native of the Kirkdale area, has joined forces with Lacey Capital Partners and Liverpool Foundations Homes in what will be a significant regeneration once completed.
The blueprint includes affordable properties, community facilities and elderly care accommodation. Smith also aims to build an eco-park and a Smith Brothers boxing academy.
Siblings Stephen, Liam and Callum are all champions in their own right and will be part of the everyday running of the gym.
A derelict railway and canalside along Melrose Road and Commercial Road are currently earmarked for the initiative.
Releasing a statement on his plans, Smith said: “We’re at an early stage. But wanted to share our initial thinking with the people of Kirkdale so that they can help shape our ideas.
“The project would act as a catalyst for wider regeneration. It would provide much-needed high-quality housing at rates affordable to local people.
“The area has been crying out for new community facilities. These will go beyond boxing into areas such as fitness, diet, nutrition and wider life skills.”
Councillor Joe Hanson added: “This project is an opportunity for Paul Smith to give back to the people of Kirkdale. It represents his love and passion for our community.
“This is an exciting opportunity for my constituents. I would urge everyone living in our community to engage in the consultation process to ensure your voice is heard.”
During his career in the sport, ‘Smigga’ fought for the world championship three times, as well as sharing the ring with one of the greatest fighters of his generation in Andre Ward.
Alongside Stephen, Liam and Callum, Paul ensured the Smiths secured their place in UK boxing history as the only four brothers to all win a British title and fight for world honours.
Youngest brother Callum recently won the World Boxing Super Series tournament. ‘Mundo’ is next due to fight on the Anthony Joshua undercard in New York.
Paul retired in 2017 and has since worked as a pundit and commentator for Sky Sports.