The super-featherweight division takes centre stage this weekend with major fights going on across the United States, but who is leading the way and where does Britain’s Stephen Smith fit in?
Sky Live: Smith hits Vegas
Stephen Smith, Francisco Vargas, Orlando Salido and Tevin Farmer’s world title fight are live on Sky
Smith goes from Liverpool to Las Vegas on Sunday morning to take on Mexican and former WBC world champion Francisco Vargas, live on Sky Sports, as he looks to push himself back into the world title picture.
I want to try and win a world title, that’s my goal, and if I can’t do that, then I’ll be done in boxing.
‘Swifty’ has previously conceded that “he probably has just one more chance at achieving his dream, and he knowingly has to make it count”. But in ‘El Bandito’ he faces the toughest of tasks, a man who defines the Mexican warrior architype and a fighter whose last three appearances have been gruelling, punishing, action-packed and as thrilling as can be.
‘El Bandito’ Francisco Vargas hopes victory over Smith will return him to a world title challenge
Vargas lost the coveted green and gold belt in his most recent outing, a fiery national showdown with the ever-improving Miguel Berchelt, the former champion’s face bloodied, swollen and cut, the 32-year-old left visually impaired and by the 11th round unable to continue.
Berchelt’s so far short reign as WBC king is a common theme in the 130lb ranks, in fact Vasyl Lomachenko‘s year-and-a-half long stranglehold of the WBO strap, with three successive title defences to his name, defiantly stands out.
Arum: Lomachenko wants Salido revenge
Bob Arum hopes Vasyl Lomachenko will get the chance to avenge his only loss
The pound-for-pound rated Ukrainian is, of course, the standout name, an exceptional boxer who has looked imperious in his 10-fight career, dazzling on almost every occasion behind a remarkable southpaw stance, his movement alone something the sport has perhaps never seen before.
Vasyl Lomachenko boats an amateur record of 396-1
Since he stopped Roman Martinez in 2016 to become a two-weight world champion, the 26-year-old has totally outclassed those in his way, such as in his victory over Nicholas Walters, making former champions look remarkably bewildered and ordinary.