By Frank Warren, courtesy of The Daily Star
LIAM SMITH is facing the man those on the other side of the Atlantic think could be boxing’s next big thing later tonight.
But the Liverpool fighter is ready to upset the odds when he meets Mexican Jaime Munguia for the WBO light-middleweight crown in Las Vegas.
Smith is a massively underrated fighter and the best to come out of a talented family of four boxing brothers.
Liam has lost just once in his 28-fight career – and that was when he defended the WBO title against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez.
Smith wouldn’t let me pull him out of that fight against the marvellous Mexican despite picking up a nasty cut in sparring.
The gash meant he couldn’t spar for more than four weeks before the fight, which hampered him against a fighter of such quality.
‘Beefy’ still managed to hold his own against one of the best on the planet to show just how good he is.
He was supposed to face Sadam Ali for the WBO belt back in May but a bizarre illness left him unable to train.
Smith would have beaten Ali and would now be a two-time world champion.
As it is, he has to go to Vegas to become the first Liverpool fighter to headline on the famous Strip.
This is a tougher fight than Ali. Munguia made light work of the American when he stepped in for Smith back in May.
But if Smith is at his best, then he can bring that belt back home.
Another man on a mission to become world champion again is former WBO lightweight king Terry Flanagan.
And he has taken the bold decision to enter the red-hot light-welterweight division of the World Boxing Super Series tournament.
There are some dangerous foes in the competition for the Manchester man, including WBA champion Kiryl Relikh, Regis Prograis, Ivan Baranchyk and Scotland’s Josh Taylor.
But Flanagan has what it takes to come out on top and once he is fighting regularly, you will get to see the best of the super southpaw.
WATCH Smith v Munguia live on BT Sport from 1.45am Sunday.