BOXING: He might not know what to expect, but Bradley Smith is aiming to make a major statement on Saturday night
- Credit: Archant
Unbeaten Bradley Smith is facing the toughest test of his career - and not necessarily due to the standard of his opponent.
The lightweight talent takes on Hungarian fighter Jozsef Takacs in a four-round scrap at the York Hall in London on Saturday night.
Smith, 20, has won all six outings to date in the paid ranks and will be a hot favourite to extend his winning steak against a rival who has lost seven of his 10 pro fights.
But Smith admits it is not the ideal fight for him - and it hasn’t fallen at the best time either.
“I wasn’t initially scheduled to box in July and I didn’t really want to step back down to four rounds,” said Smith, who is based at West Ham Boxing Club, in East London, under the guidance of trainer Barry Smith.
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“I’ve also been in the gym pretty much non-stop since January and I’m starting to feel exhausted. My head has not really been in it during the training camp.
“All that probably makes it my toughest test so far and it’s a fight I’ve got to be very careful in.
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“I don’t really know what to expect from Takacs. I’ve searched the internet but there is very little out there about him.
“He’s been to England three times before and been stopped every time so hopefully I can do the same thing.
“I’d like to make a statement with a knockout in what will hopefully be the last time I fight at four rounds.
“I’m having a break after this fight and won’t be back in the ring until November time when I hope to step up. It’s a fine line between taking things slowly and rushing into big fights too soon.”
Smith has been involved in some high-quality sparring in the build-up to the Takacs fight.
He has regualrly traded blows with John Wayne Hibbert, a former Commonwealth and WBC International champion at light welterweight. Hibbert was the only fighter to beat St Neots star Tommy Martin, who’s career was cut short by a bleed on the brain after their scrap in January, 2016.
Smith added: “The sparring has been good. Hibbert punches hard and it was a great experience to be working with him.
“I feel like I’ve been getting the better of him at times and that is really encouraging at this stage of my career.
“I know I’m in good shape, I’ve got power in my punches, and it’s just a case of ensuring my head is right on fight night.”
Smith will be cheered on by close to 150 supporters at the York Hall.