Boxing

Stephen Smith keen to challenge Takashi Miura

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Stephen Smith has been in impressive form during the last 12 months and he has claimed three consecutive knockout defeats, over Gary Buckland, Sergio Manuel Medina and Mauricio Javier Munoz.

Swifty's crushing right uppercut that rendered Buckland, a seasoned and tough fighter, unconscious will live long in the memory of British boxing fans as one of the finest one punch finishes in recent times.

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Lethargic performance

A lethargic performance in his last bout, an eight round decision over Pedro Navarette on July 12 at the Liverpool Echo Arena, disappointed the likeable Liverpudlian and his army of fans.

"I really wasn't pleased with myself. Far from it actually," he said.

"But I'm glad it's behind me. It was just one of them nights from the off. I had no nerves at all and I never got going."

Ever since Smith became the WBC Silver champion in May by overpowering the aforementioned Munoz at the First Direct Arena in Leeds, promoter Eddie Hearn has expressed genuine desire to secure the second born Smith brother the chance of a lifetime.

Chance of a lifetime

The 30-year-old Takashi Miura is a terrific technician with noteworthy punching power and he hasn't lost a bout since 2011, when the superb Takashi Uchiyama, who is widely regarded as the best 130-pound fighter on the planet, forced him to retire in the eighth round.

Smith knows that snatching the title would be a difficult task, but as much as he respects the champion, he doesn't think of Miura as insurmountable.

"I rate Miura highly. He definitely isn't a world champion by accident. He's a technically good southpaw and he can punch, but I think he can be vulnerable himself," explained the Joe Gallagher trained contender.

"I believe I have the ability in the skills and technical departments to make it a good fight and I believe when I land, I can punch hard enough to hurt him."

During his 31 fight career that has spanned 11 years, Miura has ventured outside his homeland only once, so it is more than likely that the 28-year-old former Commonwealth Games gold medallist will have to travel to Japan to challenge for the famous green and gold belt.

"I've sort of got it in my head already that I'll be going to Japan, so anything else would be a bonus. I'll just be happy to get my chance to be honest."

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