By Elliot Foster
Stephen Smith is delighted that there is finally some light at the end of the tunnel.
The Liverpool super featherweight has been training for a shot at the IBF title since October last year but has yet to receive a definitive date for his showdown with José Pedraza.
Smith (23-1, 13 KOs) won a final eliminator against Italy’s Devis Boschiero last September in his home city and was told by his promoter, Eddie Hearn, that he can “go to bed knowing that his next fight is for the world title.”
And after a lot of confusion and a second purse bid, that will finally ring true.
Lou DiBella, the man behind the Puerto Rican champion along with Javier Bustillo and Gary Shaw, won the aforementioned bid on Thursday at the IBF headquarters in Springfield, New Jersey, with a winning submission of $150,000.
But he declined to discuss any specifics, like the date or the venue, of the clash when speaking with Boxing Scene’s Jake Donovan.
The fight, which was ordered six months ago, will –– we know –– take place Stateside within 60 days.
‘Swifty’, however, has revealed to ‘Scene that the fight with Pedraza (21-0, 12 KOs) will take place on April 16 and that there are two venues likely to stage the contest.
“I can’t wait [for the fight],” he said.
“I said last time that I ‘just want to fight for the world title as soon as possible’ and now I am.
“It’ll be at one of two venues, I believe: either Foxwoods [Resort & Casino] or the Beau Rivage in Biloxi.
“It’s been a bit of a pain in the arse and a bit of a joke, to be honest, not knowing what to tell people when they ask, but finally it looks resolved and I now know more as to when I’ll become world champion.”