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Liam Smith Says Thompson's Artistic Talents Won't Work

Liam Smith will be fighting an artist when he challenges America's John Thompson for the vacant WBO light-middleweight title at the Manchester Arena on October 10.

Liverpool's Smith can become the first of his respected family's four boxing brothers to win a world title but, in Thompson, he must overcome an opponent with an altogether different and unexpected skillset.

Thompson, who has won 16 of his 17 professional fights, losing the other, also makes money as a talented artist. In recent years he has painted for both the WBA super-middleweight champion Andre Ward and musician Miley Cyrus, and he continues to consider requests.

"I started boxing at the age of four, my father got me into boxing," said Thompson. "I'm also an artist outside of the ring, just as well as I am inside of the ring.

"I like putting things on the canvas. I'm a painter. I use acrylic, oil finishing... you can actually make requests on my Instagram [account]. My art Instagram is apollo-picasso.

"I've made quite a few dollars as far as art goes. I did a surprise painting for Andre Ward for his birthday about two years ago, I did one for Miley Cyrus, I did one of [president Barack] Obama. I did quite a few paintings.

"I painted a picture for [Cyrus'] book signing, I met her in New York."

The fight between Smith and Thompson is in contention to top the bill at the Manchester Arena after WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee's bout with Billy Joe Saunders was postponed after the challenger suffered a cut eye while sparring.

Smith - whose older brother Paul has twice unsuccessfully fought for the WBO super-middleweight title and whose other brothers, super-featherweight Stephen and another super-middleweight, Callum, are also expected to challenge for world titles in the future - expects to defeat Thompson on October 10 and for his brothers to follow his lead.

"I'm going to be the first world champion of the four of us but I won't be the last," he said.

"Good on [Thompson] for having other things in life. I got onto him, he was having a bit of a joke and likes canvases and stuff like that, but that's not going to work on October 10."

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by knockoutkid on 09-02-2015

these two fighting for the title yet rose said it was a backward step fighting smith.

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