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Stephen Smith Added To Bellew-Makabu Undercard

By Elliot Foster

Stephen Smith is set to make a quick-fire return to action at the end of the month.

The Liverpool super featherweight was last between the ropes only 17 days ago, when he dropped a points decision to Puerto Rico’s José Pedraza in a challenge for the IBF world title in the US.

But Smith, who slipped to 23-2 (13 KOs) after losing to Pedraza in Connecticut on April 16, has been itching to come back and get back to winning ways.

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“I wanted to [come back sooner rather than later],” Smith exclusively revealed to Boxing Scene.

He will fight for his old title –– the vacant WBC Silver super featherweight title –– at Goodison Park on May 29, as part of the undercard supporting Tony Bellew’s vacant WBC cruiserweight title clash against Ilunga Makabu, exclusively live on Sky Sports.

“I had what people saw as my career-best performance to date against [Devis] Boschiero [in September to cement the mandatory position for the world title and then sat out [of] the ring for seven months through no fault of my own,” said Smith, whose opponent is still to be announced, “so I want to be active now and stay at a high level and get right back into world title contention as soon as possible, really.

“My confidence is still high enough after 12 good rounds with a world-class fighter so I’m looking forward to getting back in and getting back to winning ways.”

Despite defeat against the world champion last month, Smith was brave and it just wasn’t to be for the 30-year-old.

And although another loss was recorded on his ledger, he is of the belief that it will make him a better fighter.

He continued: “Pedraza is a good fighter, I knew that before I went in with him. It just wasn’t to be my night, he won on the night but I’ve learned [from the mistakes made] and will improve.”

Elsewhere, Hosea Burton will defend his British light heavyweight title against Tony Dodson and two-time British lightweight title challenger Sean Dodd will fight Italy’s Pasquale Di Silvio for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental belt, while geographical rivals Kofi Yates, of Wythenshawe, and Liverpool’s Tom Farrell, will square-up in an eliminator for the British super lightweight title.

Sam Eggington will also return on the card after losing his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles to Bradley Skeete in March and there is action for Steve Brogan, Paul Economides and former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion David Price as he fights for the first time in Liverpool in almost three years.

Boxing Scene understands that Callum Smith could be added to the card, but has been told that James Metcalf and Craig Glover will get the chance to fight at the football stadium.

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