Thursday, October 29, 2009

British Scene Weekend Preview: Tony Quigley vs Paul Smith

Dave Oakes previews Friday's British super-middleweight title fight between Tony Quigley and Paul Smith.

Tony Quigley makes the first defence of his British super-middleweight title on Friday night in an eagerly anticipated all-Scouse clash against Paul Smith at the Echo Arena, Liverpool.

The fight has generated a lot of interest on Merseyside and has nearly sold out the 10,600 capacity arena. The fact that there seems to be a bit of needle between the pair has only added to the high profile nature of the build up around the Liverpool area. Personally, I’m unsure as to how much genuine bad blood there is between the two, I get the feeling a lot of it has been done to help the promotion.

I do feel there’s a fierce rivalry between the combatants but not to the level it’s been built up to. The supposed bad blood started when Smith did a radio interview in the build up to Quigley’s fight against another Scouser, Tony Dodson. Smith claimed that that he could knockout both Quigley and Dodson on the same night and went on to describe Quigley as a “never will be”. Quigley responded by beating Dodson to win the title and will now get the chance to prove once and for all who the best super-middleweight in Liverpool is.

Quigley, 13-1 (6KO’s) was exceptional the night he beat Dodson. He started the fight in fine style by dropping his rival in round two; he then had to survive a ferocious comeback from Dodson as the fight wore on before a gargantuan effort from him late on helped him to a 12th round stoppage win.

Quigley showed a bit of everything against Dodson, he boxed well in parts, brawled at other times, took some heavy shots, dug deep when he needed to and showed great finishing instincts. It’s even more impressive when you take into consideration that he took the fight at two weeks notice despite never going beyond six rounds before.

Before the Quigley-Dodson fight, Smith was the much better known boxer. He was a top class amateur and received a lot of attention when he participated in the American show The Contender. Smith left the show after just one fight having sustained two bad cuts in his points victory over David Banks.

Smith, 27-1 (15KO’s), is the more experienced fighter, as well as his victory over Banks, he holds wins over the heavy handed Cello Renda and onetime world title challenger Jonathon Reid.

Smith also had an extensive career as an amateur, boxing all around the world. The high point being when he won the silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, narrowly losing in the final to Jean Pascal, the current WBC light-heavyweight champion.

Despite his amateur experience and high profile, Smith has yet to reach the level that was expected of him when he turned pro. His career has never really got going and I get the feeling that this title shot has come at the perfect time for him.

Quigley has a slight advantage in terms of skill and speed but Smith is definitely the puncher in the fight. Smith can be a skilful boxer himself when he applies himself but at times in the past he’s let his heart rule his head and has ended up brawling more than boxing.

I feel the early rounds will be vital; Smith needs to stamp his authority on the fight as soon as possible and try to hurt Quigley. I think Smith will go to the body early, he’s a noted body puncher and Quigley has shown he’s susceptible to body shots before, particularly in the only defeat on his record against Nathan Cleverly.

I believe Quigley will look to box early on before standing his ground more as the fight goes on. If he can outbox Smith early, and avoid taking the energy sapping body shots, I feel he’ll come through a tricky moment or two to claim a narrow points victory.

e-mail Dave Oakes


Anonymous said...

Nice preview. Its a tough fight to call, I've never been sold on Smith, but I'm not Quigley is a true Super-Middleweight. I think Smith might just have enough in a razor tight one.

Anonymous said...

Smithy is up for this, is it on Tv?

Anonymous said...

te on skysports at 10 and smith is going to kill him

Dave Oakes said...

boxingwriter, I agree with you about Quigley not being a true super-middleweight. He'd definately be more suited to middleweight but I don't think he'd be willing to give up his title to drop down a division, not unless it was for a big payday against either Barker or Macklin.

I think it's going to be an entertaining scrap tonight. I'm also looking forward to the fight between Tony Bellew and Jindrich Velecky, it's a good step up in class for Bellew.