Smith targets Wembley knockout

West Ham United fan and WBO European Super-Featherweight champion Mitchell Smith fights at Wembley on Saturday evening

West Ham United fan and WBO European Super-Featherweight champion Mitchell Smith is preparing to take one step closer towards his World title dream on Saturday night.
Smith, who defeated Hungarian Zoltan Kovacs in November to become European champion, has now dropped to featherweight and has been working hard over the past six months as he looks to secure the WBO Inter-Continental title at Wembley Arena.
Smith will go up against the tough 30-year-old Christian Palma from Lautaro in Chile, but the English fighter is confident he has the power to knock his older opponent out.
“I last boxed back in November when I beat Kovacs to become the new WBO European champion and since then I’ve had a knee operation on an injury that was stopping me doing miles of running in training,” said Smith.
“I moved down to featherweight and boxed in March against another featherweight boxer and I knocked him out in three rounds. We also went away to Monaco for some training, before coming back home to work hard in the gym and hopefully I’ll pick up a new title on Saturday at Wembley Arena in a new weight division.
“I looked at his record when his name was first mentioned around four or five weeks ago. It looks like he has around 20 wins to his name and around six or seven defeats, so he isn’t the type of person to just take his pay cheque and go and lose to anyone.
“Everyone he has lost to so far has been better than him and seeing as I’m dropping down a weight class, I feel that I’ll probably be too strong for him. We’ll have to wait and see on the night what he is like but I’m confident that I’ll be the winner on Saturday night.”
My dream is still to be a World champion by the time I’m 24
When the Baby Faced Assassin spoke to back in December 2014, he admitted that his ultimate dream was to become a World champion by the time he turns 24. Still just 22, Smith believes that a victory on Saturday would be a massive jump towards that goal.
“My dream is still to be a World champion by the time I’m 24 and after winning the European title aged 22 and now with a chance to become an Inter-Continental champion while I’m still 22, it’s stepping stone towards my dream.
“I know that I’m probably still a few fights after this one before I’ll have a shot at the World title, but it’s getting closer and I still believe that I will be a world champion by the time I’m 24.
“It’s going to be a cracking fight card. I’ve been told that my fight will be quite high up the bill because it’s a big title fight which is at Wembley so it’s pretty much on my doorstep.
“I know that I’ve got over 300 fans coming along so it’s bound to be an exciting evening and hopefully I’ll be able to deliver the goods in the ring.”
The man from Harrow Weald took a moment to thank the Hammers and the Club’s fans for all the support he receives.
“Having the support from the Club and the fans is fantastic especially because I get a large group of mates from West Ham come down which really helps to boost my ticket sales too.
“The West Ham boys are usually the loudest of the fans who come to watch me fight so I can really hear them when I’m doing the business in the ring. My last fight was at York Hall and the Hammers boys had the flags out and were cheering me on. It’s really nice to see because there are quite a few West Ham boxers out there so I’m lucky to have all the support that I get.
“I appreciate all the support and hope that any Hammers fans that want to jump on board this exciting journey and continue supporting me throughout my career, it would be nice to see them.”
The Striking Distance Championship Boxing event kicks off takes place on Saturday 9th May at The SSE Arena in Wembley. Tickets are still available by calling 07759 855171.
Hammers fans can follow Mitchell on Twitter at @MitchellSmith92.