Smith aiming to extend record

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THORNHILL boxer Michael Smith will be aiming to stretch his unbeaten professional record to five fights when he takes on hard-hitting Mansoor Wali at Halifax Sports Centre next Saturday (May 22).

Smith has two wins and two draws from his four bouts but turned in an impressive display last time out when he defeated Swansea’s Chris Brophy on the undercard to Gary Sykes’s British title fight with Carl Johanneson.

The 19-year-old enjoyed the experience of fighting on a big show and was encouraged by the large support who stayed on to watch him after the Sykes fight.

Trainer Julian McGowan said: “This is a genuine 50-50 fight against an unpredictable opponent and it will be a competitive contest.

“People used to follow Gary in the early days because he had the potential to go far and it would be nice if fans could back Michael from the beginning too.”

Wali has also had four professional bouts, with two wins and two defeats, but both his victories came via early stoppages, so Smith will have to be on his guard.

McGowan added: “Michael is learning every day in the gym and he is coming on in leaps and bounds.

“Wali will come and want Michael to get involved in a brawl so it will be important he holds his nerve and takes control of the centre of the ring. If he does that, I am confident he will get another victory.”

Sykes is also back in the gym and is being tipped to make a third defence of his British super featherweight crown at the end of June or beginning of July.

Middlesbrough’s Paul Truscott is one opponent who is in line for the voluntary defence, when victory for Sykes would see him win the Lonsdale belt outright.

Ticket details for next Saturday’s show, which also includes popular Huddersfield man Tyrone Nurse, are available from Michael Smith on 07884 187016 or Julian McGowan on 07800 991292.