Liam Smith has claimed bragging rights in the ‘Battle of Liverpool’ after overcoming Anthony Fowler at the M&S Bank Arena.
The former world champion beat his relatively inexperienced opponent via a TKO, after stopping his opponent in the eighth round.
Smith went into the bout against his fellow Liverpudlian with an impressive record to defend on home soil, having not lost a domestic fight heading into the contest.
He went in as the clear favourite pre-fight, but found himself in trouble early on as Fowler opened up a cut above his left eye in the first round.
Smith responded well though to level things up in the second, but looked to be in trouble as Fowler hurt him again towards the end of the third.
Smith fought back though, and floored Fowler in the fifth with a big right over the top to establish his dominance before flooring his opponent in the eighth, with the referee bringing the bout to an end.
Earlier, fellow Liverpudlian Peter McGrail made the perfect start to his professional career as he saw off Ed Harrison in convincing fashion, while Troy Williamson was crowned the new British super-welterweight champion after his devastating knockout of Ted Cheeseman.
Having beaten Fowler, Smith will now turn his attentions towards another potential tilt at a world title, having revealed pre-fight he still held ambitions of going further in the ring.
“I beat Anthony Fowler, I’m back on that track, I’m back in with the names,” Smith said.
“Let’s have it right, I should have beaten Kurbanov and I should be fighting Tim Tszyu now as a mandatory challenger, but it is what it is.
“I’ll drop down, beat Fowler, and then be back up where I belong.
“Anthony Fowler is a 30-years-old fighter, who’s had 16 fights and never set the world alight.
“He’s trying to finish my career. If I lose to Fowler, I’ve got no intentions of going after a world title again.”
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