By Terence Dooley
Liverpool’s Liam Smith (20-0-1, 10 KOs) has had to KO his dream of attending Floyd Mayweather’s final fight as the 27-year-old is fully focused on his vacant WBO light-middleweight title showdown with America's John Thompson next month.
Smith told the Daily Star’s Chris McKenna that he is opting out of Mayweather’s Las Vegas swansong against Andre Berto as he bids to become the first of the four fighting Smith brothers (Paul, Stephen and Callum are the other three) to net a world title.
“I was going there for the Mayweather fight, I went last year for the Marcos Maidana fight,” he said. “I was gutted, to be honest, but it softens the blow that I'm fighting for a world title.
“This might sound terrible, but if it was a British title fight, I'd have been devastated after how good Vegas was last year with the lads. I'm just a down-to-earth lad and I love them holidays with my friends.
“I believe if I win this fight it will change my life and I'm a world champion. Then the big fights can come in Vegas and America. But I have to win this first.”
The two contenders clash for the vacant belt on Frank Warren’s October 10th bill at the Manchester Arena. Andy Lee was due to defend his WBO middleweight belt against Billy Joe Saunders on the same card, but that one has been rescheduled for a second time after Saunders picked up a cut in training.
Manchester’s Terry Flanagan is also on the bill, he defends his WBO lightweight title against the Las Vegas-based Diego Magdaleno; it is the 26-year-old’s first defence of the belt he won by after Jose Zepeda was forced to retire in the corner due to shoulder injury when they vied for the vacant title in July.
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