Liam Smith made history by becoming the third brother of the Smith family to hold a British title.
Liam joined his brother Paul and Stephen in becoming a British champion with a unanimous points decision against Erick Ochieng.
Early on Smith was made to miss by Ochieng early on and was countered with well timed shots. Ochieng was on the back-foot but was throwing a lot of shots and landing regularly. There was constant action throughout and both fighters really put on a proper show.
Smith looked the physically stronger man as he kept coming forward. He isn’t known as a big puncher but he is a strong young man who can push opponents about and put them under great pressure. He was defiantly the aggressor in the fight and for me was doing the better work.
But Ochieng was quicker and more flashy looking to land combinations whilst leaning on the ropes. He was forced to work at a high pace throughout and he didn’t seem as comfortable - although both men were up to the task in what turned out to be a fantastic fight.
This type of fight is exactly the type of test that fighters should be having at British title level as it really improves the reputation of the sport. At times there was toe to toe action as both men tried to gain control - Smith being the more successful at dominating the fight in the later rounds.
And Smith had a great eighth round in which he really began to dominate and force Ochieng back. For me this is really where he began to separate himself from his opponent. Erick was beginning to tire whereas Smith was still looking fit and strong.
Smith had another big round in the 11th and following the final bell was clearly, for me, the winner. It was terrific all-action fight in which both fighters threw a high quantity of punches up close and both fighters really came to go home with the title.
Rightly in my opinion, the fight was awarded to Smith on the scores of 117-112, 117-112 and 116-113 and he joined his brothers in being crowned a British champion.
Congratulations to the Smith family on yet another very successful night. They are a likeable group of guys who work extremely hard and who feed of the others success. They are a real fighting family and are a credit to British boxing.
What a remarkable achievement to have three of the four brothers as British champions all at once and with Callum Smith looking certain to be a future British champion the future is very bright for the Smiths.
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