Liam Smith
Weight(s)Light-middleweight Middleweight
Height5 ft 9+14 in (176 cm) [1]
Reach69 in (175 cm)
Born (1988-07-27) 27 July 1988 (age 34)
Liverpool, England
Boxing record
Total fights37
Wins by KO20

Liam Mark Smith (born 27 July 1988) is a British professional boxer.[2] He held the WBO light-middleweight title from 2015 to 2016, and previously the British and Commonwealth light-middleweight titles between 2012 and 2015. Liam is the younger brother of Paul Smith and Stephen Smith, and the older brother of Callum Smith; all of whom are professional boxers.[3]

Early life

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Liam Smith was born and raised in Liverpool, alongside his five siblings. Smith started boxing at Rotunda ABC during his teenage years and states boxing saved him from getting in trouble on the streets. He said: "I was doing other daft stuff, like getting brought home by police, smashing windows, fighting on the streets and other little silly things that lead up to going off the rails. But when I started boxing it would keep me in at night."[citation needed]

Amateur career

As an amateur, Smith fought for Rotunda ABC in Liverpool. He is a two-time winner of the ABA Championships, having won in 2007 and 2008, fighting at light welterweight. In 2007 he defeated Luke Gray (of Stevenage ABC)[4] and in 2008 he defeated Steve Turner (of the British Army).[5]

Professional career

Early career

Liam Smith made his professional debut at light-middleweight on 10 October 2008 against Duncan Cottier at the Everton Park Sports Centre, Liverpool. In a four-round fight, Smith won on points as referee Steve Gray scored it (40–36). This was part of a stacked card by Queensberry Promotions which also had future world titlists such as Nathan Cleverly, Anthony Crolla, Tony Bellew as well as Liam's older brother Stephen.[6] In his second pro fight, Smith defeated John Van Emmenis via first-round technical knockout (TKO). Smith only fought twice in 2009, outpointing Kevin McCauley and Darren Gethin in four round contests. Smith fought three times in 2010, first a 4-round points win over Billy Smith, a (38–38) points draw against Terry Carruthers and a second round TKO of veteran Matt Scriven. After a 9-month lay off, Smith fought twice again in 2011, a third-round knockout (KO) off Barrie Jones and a first-round KO of Gerard Healy. Healy dropped to one knee from a body shot and right uppercut and was counted out.[7]

2012 was the most active year from Smith since his pro debut as he fought five times, an 8 rounds points win against Paul Morby, a first-round TKO win against Andrew Patterson, a six-round points win against Dee Mitchell and a 10-round points win against Gary McMillan, which was a British light-middleweight title eliminator. At the age of 24, this left Smith with a record of 12 wins, 5 by way of knockout, 1 draw and no losses.[8]

Domestic and regional success

Smith had his last fight of 2015 on 15 December at the ExCel Arena in London, for the vacant Commonwealth light-middleweight title against Steve O'Meara (16–2, 5 KOs) in his first twelve-round fight. Smith knocked O'Meara down in round 1 and went on to win the fight on all three scorecards (118–110, 116–112 twice).[9] After a 6-month gap, Smith returned to his hometown of Liverpool to defeat journeyman Max Maxwell on points over six rounds. Smith had his next tough fight on 21 September 2015, against Kenyan born Erick Ochieng (14–1, 4 KOs) at the Olympia. Smith won via twelve round unanimous decision on all scorecards (116–113, 117–112 twice) to win the vacant British light-middleweight title.[10] In December, Smith successfully defended the title by stopping Mark Thompson (24–3, 15 KOs) in round 4. Thompson was down twice in the third round. In July 2014, Smith defended the title again, this time winning by way of knockout against Jason Welborn (15–2, 16 KOs) in round 6.[11]

On 25 October 2014, Smith beat Zoltan Sera (16–2, 10 KOs) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool for the vacant WBA Continental light-middleweight title. Smith was cut above the right eye in a second round head clash which required 5 stitches, and Sera was knocked down in the third round as the fight came to an end.[12] On 6 March 2015, Smith fought again at the Echo Arena, this time against Robert Talarek. Smith won via eighth-round TKO. A month later in April, Smith fought and defeated David Ezequiel Romero via seventh-round TKO to win the vacant WBO Inter-Continental light-middleweight title. Romero was knocked down once in the third round, twice in the fifth and once in the sixth before the fight came to an end. After the win, this left Smith with a record of 20 wins with 10 by knockout, 1 draw and no losses.[13]

WBO junior middleweight champion

Smith vs. Thompson

It was announced in August 2015 that Smith would fight John Thompson (17–1, 6 KOs) for the WBO light-middleweight title, left vacant by Demetrius Andrade. Smith was initially supposed to fight Frenchman Michel Soro, only for an internal issue with promoters Top Rank to force him out. The fight took place on 10 October at the Manchester Arena, Manchester.[14] Smith became the new WBO champion after seeing off Thompson with a seventh-round knockout. Smith slowly grew into the fight following a defensive first few rounds. By the time the sixth round came, Smith, was on the rise after a few well-placed jabs and produced the decisive punch in the seventh, causing the referee to wave the fight in his favour.[15]

Smith vs. Kelly, Radosevic

On 19 December 2015, Smith returned to the Manchester Arena on the undercard of Andy Lee vs. Billy Joe Saunders WBO middleweight title fight. Smith dominated 'Jimmy' Kilrain Kelly (16–0, 7 KOs), making the first successful defense of his WBO title. Kelly was deducted two points in the sixth round for illegal head butting, and stopped late in the seventh round. Kelly produced a brave display against the more experienced champion. Despite Smith dominating the contest, Kelly showed his potential, troubling Smith on occasions in almost every round.[16]

On 9 May 2016, Smith announced he would defend his WBO title against Predrag Radosevic (30–1, 11 KOs) at the Echo Arena on 4 June. This was Smith's second defence of his new title in his home city of Liverpool. This was announced after Austin Trout backed out.[17] Smith won the fight in the second round to retain his world title. This was Smith's eighth consecutive knockout victory.[18]

Smith vs. Álvarez

On 24 June 2016, it was announced that Smith would make the third defence of his world title against Mexican Saul 'Canelo' Álvarez (47–1–1, 33 KOs) on 17 September in the main event on an HBO PPV card. Golden Boy Promotions announced on 18 July that the bout will take place at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.[19] The other venue looking to host the fight was the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.[20] The fight was contested at the official light-middleweight limit of 154 lbs and not 155 lbs, a weight in which Álvarez had fought his last 5 fights.

Smith lost his first fight as a professional when he was knocked down following a vicious left hook to the body in round 9. Smith, who lost his world title, was dropped once in round 7 and once in round 8. Álvarez was in control from the opening bell. The fight broke the boxing attendance record at the stadium, with an announcement of 51,240. Álvarez landed 157 punches from 422 thrown with a connect rate of 37%, compared to Smith 115 from 403 thrown, a connect rate of 29%. Golden Boy Promotions later announced the fight drew an estimated 300,000 ppv buys.[21][22][23]

Regaining composure

In January 2017, negotiations began for a fight between Smith and 24 year old fellow Brit Liam Williams (16–0–1, 11 KOs), who were said to be long standing rivals, to take place on 8 April 2017.[24][25] At an official press conference on 23 January, promoter Frank Warren announced the fight would take place at the Manchester Arena in Manchester on 8 April, as a co-feature with Terry Flanagan's WBO lightweight title defence against Petr Petrov.[26] Early reports indicated it would be for the WBO world title, however Álvarez had not vacated. Instead Williams would be defending his WBO European title. Smith later said that fighting Williams, unless a world title is on the line, would be a backwards step for his career.[27][28]

On 18 March 2017 Smith traveled to Spain and fought a four-round fight, winning on points. He defeated journeyman Marian Cazacu at the Club Entrena in Barcelona. This was under the radar as it was never mentioned prior to the fight.[29]

Smith vs. Williams I, II

Frank Warren successfully petitioned to the WBO to elevate the Smith vs. Williams fight to be for the WBO interim light-middleweight title. On 22 March, it was officially announced. This would also mean, should Álvarez vacate the title, the winner would become full title-holder, or if he decided to return to the 154lb division, he would be obliged to fight the winner.[30] Smith failed to make weight, weighing in at 155.4 pounds. He was given the standard time to make weight later on, which he failed to do. Although the fight would still take place, should Smith win, the title would have remained vacant. It was the first time in eight years that Smith had failed to make weight.[31][32] Smith failed to lift the vacant WBO interim title, but won the fight at the end of round 9 when Williams’ corner pulled him from the fight due to an eye injury, which was later revealed to be a double laceration on his right eyelid. At the time of stoppage, all three judges had Williams ahead on the scorecards. It was uncertain as to how the cut occurred, which many ringside observers believing it was clash of heads. Had the fight gone to scorecards, Williams would have claimed the vacant title. A rematch was talked about in the post fight.[33][34]

On 25 April, Frank Warren told Boxing News that he had spoken to both boxers and they agreed to wanting to fight again. He also went on to say it would likely take place in September. He said, "That gives them plenty of time to recover from the cuts and injuries from the first fight, they both need to be 100 percent for a rematch." There was no confirmation as to whether the WBO interim title would be at stake again.[35] On 7 May, Warren tweeted that a deal had been agreed and the rematch would be an official WBO world title eliminator.[36] Warren announced the fight would take place on 28 October 2017 in Manchester.[37][38] Due to both boxers not willing to give away home advantage, Warren confirmed the fight would take in Newcastle at the Metro Radio Arena.[39] Due to the announcement of Anthony Joshua's defence of his world titles against mandatory challenger Carlos Takam, Frank Warren pushed the fight back to take place on 11 November 2017.[40] Smith weighed 154 pounds, whilst Williams came in lighter at 153 ½ pounds.[41]

In what some[who?] considered a controversial decision, Smith defeated Williams after taking him the twelve round distance for the first time in his career. One judge scored the fight 114–114, whilst the remaining two judges scored the fight 117–111 and 116–112 in favour of Smith, giving him the majority decision. Smith started the fight slow and less aggressive than usual, making the first half of the fight close. Smith did well to cut the ring off when needed and utilised his jab. Williams seemed to land the harder shots, but had a lower output than Smith. With the win, Smith became the mandatory challenger to Miguel Cotto's WBO light middleweight title. Warren confirmed that regardless of Cotto's situation, whether he retires or vacates, Smith's next fight in 2018 would be for the WBO title. The next highest ranked contender at the time was Magomed Kurbonov.[42][43] Smith said in the post-fight interviews, "It was a different fight this time – I think I showed a different Liam Smith. I think people were surprised how I boxed him. I've just beat a very good boxer in Liam Williams. Some people think I just walk forward, but I showed I've got a very good jab."[44] The next day, Williams stated that he would like to fight Smith for a third time. He also said that, if Smith regains the WBO title, he had agreed to give him a title opportunity.[45]

Smith vs. Munguia

On 2 December 2017, welterweight contender Sadam Ali defeated Miguel Cotto, winning the WBO light middleweight title in the process. Following the win, Ali stated he would stay at light-middleweight and defend the title.[46] On 23 February, Smith's promoter Frank Warren stated that negotiations with Ali's promoters, Golden Boy Promotions, were going well and a deal would be done within weeks. There were reports suggesting the fight would take place on the Canelo Álvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin II card, however Warren made no mention of this.[47] On 19 March 2018, the bout was confirmed to take place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on 12 May.[48] On 27 April, Smith was forced to withdraw due to an allergic reaction. Smith stated he had been out of training for eight days and was forced to postpone the fight to a later date. Golden Boy were looking to keep the card and find a replacement.[49][50][51] Mexican prospect Jaime Munguia (29–0, 25 KO's) replaced Smith, stopping Ali in round 4 and winning the WBO title.[52]

On 21 May 2018, Frank Warren stated a deal was being put together for Mungiua to make his first title defence against Smith, possibly in the U.S.[53] A month later, the fight was confirmed to take place on 21 July 2018, at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.[54][55] For the fight, Mungiua was promised a purse of $200,000 and Smith would receive a $75,000 purse.[56] In the fight, televised by HBO's Boxing After Dark, in front of a small crowd of 2,470, Smith took advantage of Munguia's defense at first, having success with his right hand. As the fight progressed, Munguia adapted and managed to land a clean left hook to the head, dropping Smith. Smith was hurt but managed to stay active throughout the rest of the bout, lasting the twelve round distance. After the knockdown, Munguia stayed in control. In round 9, Munguia landed 44 power shots compared to 22 shots landed by Smith. In rounds 9 through 12, Smith landed some good shots, however he lacked the punching power to keep Munguia at bay. Munguia landed heavy shots to the body and head in the final four rounds. Smith took the punches and kept firing back his own. Munguia won a unanimous decision with the scorecards reading 116–111, 119–108, 117–110, with boxing critics praising Smith for his toughness in a crowd-pleasing bout.[57]

Smith complimented Munguia after the bout, stating: "Canelo hits harder at super welterweight. But he's young. He's 21 years of age. So he's a good fighter and he'll probably only get better and better." Munguia admitted he was looking for the knockout, but was happy to go the distance as it was a learning experience.[58] According to CompuBox, Munguia landed 277 of 837 punches thrown (33%), which included 69 power shots to the body landed and Smith landed 198 of his 702 thrown (28%).[59] The fight averaged 777,000 viewers and peaked at 827,000 viewers on HBO.[60]

Smith vs. Lozano

On 24 August 2019, Smith beat Mario Alberto Lozano (33–10, 24 KO) by seventh-round TKO on the undercard of the WBC super-flyweight title fight between Juan Francisco Estrada and Dewayne Beamon in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.[61]

Smith vs. Garcia

In his next fight, Smith fought Roberto Garcia. Smith repeatedly hurt Garcia with some good body work, for which he earned a wide unanimous decision victory on the scorecards, 99–91 twice and 98–92.[62]

Smith vs. Kurbanov

In his next fight, Smith fought Magomed Kurbanov, ranked #5 by the WBO and WBA and #15 by the IBF at super welterweight, in Russia.[63] Smith lost on all three judges scorecards, 113-115 twice and 112-117.[64][65]

Smith vs. Fowler

On 9 October 2021, Smith fought fellow Liverpudlian, Anthony Fowler, winning via 8th round TKO.[66]

Smith vs. Vargas

After dominating Vargas in all prior rounds with constant stalking, and causing a cut above Vargas' eye, Smith defeated Vargas via TKO in the 10th round.

Smith vs. Mwakinyo

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2023)

Smith vs. Eubank Jr.

Main article: Chris Eubank Jr. vs Liam Smith

Smith defeated Eubank Jr. via TKO in the 4th round.

Professional boxing record

37 fights 33 wins 3 losses
By knockout 20 1
By decision 13 2
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
37 Win 33–3–1 Chris Eubank Jr TKO 4 (12), 1:09 21 Jan 2023 AO Arena, Manchester, England
36 Win 32–3–1 Hassan Mwakinyo TKO 4 (12), 1:46 3 Sep 2022 Liverpool Arena, Liverpool, England
35 Win 31–3–1 Jessie Vargas TKO 10 (12), 0:41 30 Apr 2022

Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US

Won vacant WBO Inter-Continental light-middleweight title
34 Win 30–3–1 Anthony Fowler TKO 8 (12), 0:20 9 Oct 2021

Liverpool Arena, Liverpool, England

Won WBA International light-middleweight title
33 Loss 29–3–1 Magomed Kurbanov UD 12 7 May 2021 Yekaterinburg Sports Palace, Ekaterinburg, Russia For vacant WBO International light-middleweight title
32 Win 29–2–1 Roberto García UD 10 20 Dec 2019 Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona, US
31 Win 28–2–1 Mario Alberto Lozano TKO 7 (10), 1:02 24 Aug 2019 Centro de Usos Multiples, Hermosillo, Mexico
30 Win 27–2–1 Sam Eggington TKO 5 (12), 2:00 30 Mar 2019 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England Won vacant WBC Silver light-middleweight title
29 Loss 26–2–1 Jaime Munguía UD 12 21 Jul 2018 The Joint, Paradise, Nevada, US For WBO light-middleweight title
28 Win 26–1–1 Liam Williams MD 12 11 Nov 2017 Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle, England
27 Win 25–1–1 Liam Williams RTD 9 (12), 3:00 8 Apr 2017 Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
26 Win 24–1–1 Marian Cazacu PTS 4 18 Mar 2017 Club de boxeo Entrena, Barcelona, Spain
25 Loss 23–1–1 Canelo Álvarez KO 9 (12), 2:28 17 Sep 2016 AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas, US Lost WBO light-middleweight title
24 Win 23–0–1 Predrag Radošević KO 2 (12), 1:34 4 Jun 2016 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England Retained WBO light-middleweight title
23 Win 22–0–1 Jimmy Kelly TKO 7 (12), 2:35 19 Dec 2015 Manchester Arena, Manchester, England Retained WBO light-middleweight title
22 Win 21–0–1 John Thompson TKO 7 (12), 1:44 10 Oct 2015 Manchester Arena, Manchester, England Won vacant WBO light-middleweight title
21 Win 20–0–1 David Ezequiel Romero TKO 7 (10), 1:10 18 Apr 2015 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England Won vacant WBO Inter-Continental light-middleweight title
20 Win 19–0–1 Robert Talarek TKO 8 (10), 2:01 6 Mar 2015 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England
19 Win 18–0–1 Zoltan Sera TKO 3 (12), 1:53 25 Oct 2014 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England Won vacant WBA Continental (Europe) light-middleweight title
18 Win 17–0–1 Jason Welborn KO 6 (12), 0:36 26 Jul 2014 Phones 4u Arena, Manchester, England Retained British light-middleweight title
17 Win 16–0–1 Mark Thompson TKO 4 (12), 0:13 7 Dec 2013 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England Retained British light-middleweight title
16 Win 15–0–1 Erick Ochieng UD 12 21 Sep 2013 Liverpool Olympia, Liverpool, England Won vacant British light-middleweight title
15 Win 14–0–1 Max Maxwell PTS 6 28 Jun 2013 Liverpool Olympia, Liverpool, England
14 Win 13–0–1 Steve O'Meara UD 12 15 Dec 2012 ExCeL, London, England Won vacant Commonwealth light-middleweight title
13 Win 12–0–1 Gary McMillan UD 10 9 Nov 2012 Liverpool Olympia, Liverpool, England
12 Win 11–0–1 Dee Mitchell PTS 6 21 Sep 2012 Hilton, London, England
11 Win 10–0–1 Andrew Patterson TKO 1 (6), 2:48 25 May 2012 Newport Centre, Newport, Wales
10 Win 9–0–1 Paul Morby PTS 8 25 Feb 2012 Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales
9 Win 8–0–1 Gerard Healy KO 1 (6), 1:36 15 Oct 2011 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England
8 Win 7–0–1 Barrie Jones KO 3 (6), 2:12 17 Sep 2011 Liverpool Olympia, Liverpool, England
7 Win 6–0–1 Matt Scriven TKO 2 (4), 2:48 11 Dec 2010 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England
6 Draw 5–0–1 Terry Caruthers PTS 4 4 Sep 2010 Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, Scotland
5 Win 5–0 Billy Smith PTS 4 12 Mar 2010 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England
4 Win 4–0 Darren Gethin PTS 4 30 Oct 2009 Echo Arena, Liverpool, England
3 Win 3–0 Kevin McCauley PTS 4 14 Mar 2009 MEN Arena, Manchester, England
2 Win 2–0 John Van Emmenis TKO 1 (4), 1:32 12 Dec 2008 Kingsway Leisure Centre, Widnes, England
1 Win 1–0 Duncan Cottier PTS 4 10 Oct 2008 Everton Park Sports Centre, Liverpool, England

Pay-per-view bouts

Date Fight Billing Buys Revenue Network
17 September 2016
Canelo vs. Smith Canelo-Smith 300,000 $20m HBO


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Sporting positions Regional boxing titles VacantTitle last held byJamie Cox Commonwealthlight-middleweight champion 15 December 2012 – September 2013Vacated VacantTitle next held byLiam Williams VacantTitle last held byBrian Rose British light-middleweight champion 21 September 2013 – October 2015Vacated VacantTitle last held byArtem Karpets WBA Continental (Europe)light-middleweight champion 25 October 2014 – April 2015Vacated VacantTitle next held byShane Mosley VacantTitle last held byVanes Martirosyan WBO Inter-Continentallight-middleweight champion 18 April 2015 – May 2015Vacated VacantTitle next held byJohn Thompson VacantTitle last held byKell Brook WBC Silverlight-middleweight champion 30 March 2019 – 11 January 2020Stripped VacantTitle next held byErickson Lubin World boxing titles VacantTitle last held byDemetrius Andrade WBO light-middleweight champion 10 October 2015 – 17 September 2016 Succeeded byCanelo Álvarez