Weights: Smith 154, Radosevic 153

By Boxing News - 06/03/2016 - Comments


By Scott Gilfoid: WBO junior middleweight champion Liam Smith (22-0-1, 12 KOs) made weight on Friday in coming in right at the limit for the division at 154 pounds for his title defense on Saturday night against Predrag Radosevic (30-1, 11 KOs) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.

Predrag weighed in a pound less at 153lbs. The Smith vs. Predrag fight will be televised on BoxNation. I’m not sure if this is going to be a good bout or not because it’s such a mismatch on paper. Predrag, 31, has only fought one well known opponent during his career and that was Felix Sturm, who obliterated him in four rounds.

You can maybe make an argument that Predrag wasn’t as good then as he is now, as the fight took place three years ago in 2013. But with the poor opponents that Predrag has faced since then, it’s impossible to say whether he’s gotten better. I mean, if Predrag had taken on a live body with a recognizable name, then we all could see whether he’s improved or stayed the same. He hasn’t done that for some reason.

Here are the guys that Predrag has fought since his crushing 4th round KO loss to Sturm: Andy Thiele, Giuseppe Lauri and Gabor Kovavs. The only thing we can get from those empty wins by Predrag is that he can beat C-level opposition. He fails against the B-level guys obviously, as we saw in his loss to Sturm. No, I don’t consider Sturm an A-level fighter and never have. He’s a decent B-level guy that has never really taken on the dangerous guys. Sturm never fought Gennady Golovkin, Jermain Taylor or Kelly Pavlik.

Smith, 27, said this week that he’s been offered a fight against Mexican star Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. It remains to be seen whether that fight will happen. If it does, then that’s a winnable fight for Canelo. I don’t know why he would want to fight Liam Smith rather than the likes of Erislsndy Lara, Jermell Charlo or Jermall Charlo.

I know Canelo hasn’t seemed to enthused at getting in the ring with Golovkin, but if he’s not going to be facing the likes of the Charlo brothers and Lara too, then what’s left for him? Hopefully, Canelo isn’t going to be dodging the best fighters in the 154lb division because he’s going to hurt his career if he takes that approach.

Predrag is not a puncher, and he obviously doesn’t have the best chin in the division from the looks of it. He looked like he started his career out facing dreadful opposition and he just kept along the same path rather than moving upwards to face better opponents.

Smith, 27, will need to face better opposition after the Predrag fight because he’s got a mandatory due against I have no idea. Miguel Cotto is ranked #1 by the WBO, but I don’t see him bothering taking the fight against him because it’s not a sellable fight in the U.S. The next four highest ranked contenders in the WBO’s rankings are 2. Demetrius Andrade. 3. Oleksandr Spirko 4. Yuki Nanaka 5. Gary Corcoran.

If Smith is lucky, Andrade will pass on the fight and this will leave it up to Spirko, Nanaka and Corcoran whether they’ll want to take the fight. I’ve seen Cororan fight and I wasn’t impressed at all. Nanaka has a ton of losses, and I’m not quite sure why the World Boxing Organization has them ranked in their top 15. With the amount of losses Nanaka has. I don’t consider him even a top 200 contender.

It just kind of shows you how odd the rankings are with the sanctioning bodies. When you get guys with journeyman like records like Nanaka with his eight defeats against weak opposition, it just makes you wonder what the qualifications need to be for fighters to be ranked in the top 15 by the WBO.

YouTube video

It’s going to be interesting to see how long Smith can hold onto his WBO title before someone takes it off him. I think it might come down to how long he can face weaker opposition like the guys he’s facing. If Smith has to fight someone good like Demetrius Andrade, then I see him losing his WBO belt. If Canelo gives Smith a fight, then of course he’ll lose to him.

I just don’t know why Canelo would want to fight smith. I mean, he pretty has to fight someone good if he doesn’t take the Golovkin fight, don’t you think? It’s going to look bad as heck if Canelo fights Smith rather than one of the talented junior middleweights. It would look too much like a cherry picking move on Canelo’s part if he faces Smith.

Other weights on the card:

Zolani Tete 117 vs. Victor Ruiz 116
Ryan Farrag 118 vs. Karim Guerfi 118
Paul Butler vs. Petchbarngborn Kokietgym