By Terence Dooley
The BBBoC have refused Eddie Hearn's request to make Paul "Real Gone Kid" Smith against Tobias Webb, 14-1-1 (2), for Smith's British Super middleweight title and have instead ordered the Liverpudlian to make a mandatory defence against city rival Rocky Fielding. Smith, 34-2 (19), had hoped to make a voluntary against Webb on Hearn's March 15th Echo Arena show only for the Board to spike the proposed contest. They have set a March 12th deadline for submission of the purse bids; the fight has to take place by end of May.
It leaves the 31-year-old searching for an opponent for the 15th and Fielding facing the prospect of yet another local derby — he meets former British titlist Tony Dodson in a Commonwealth title defence on the same Echo Arena bill.
Smith won the Lonsdale belt with a stirring sixth-round stoppage win over Dodson in June, so Fielding's fight with the "Warrior" will be a good litmus test ahead of a potential showdown with Smith, who posted a six-round decision win over Jamie Ambler in December.
Fielding, 17-0 (10), beat Wayne Reed (TKO 6), Michal Nieroda (KO 1), Darren McKenna (W4), Mohammed Akrong (KO 1) and Luke Blackledge (KO 1) during a busy 2013, but the fight with Smith, and Dodson for that matter, will tell us a lot more about the 26-year-old title-holder.
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