Liam Smith v Anthony Fowler: Beefy to win enthralling Merseyside derby

Boxer Liam Smith
Liam Smith will prove he's a class apart by winning this grudge match

Tyson Fury meets Deontay Wilder in Vegas on Saturday but first there's a UK grudge match that has fight fans talking. Betfair's Frankie Monkhouse previews and recommends his bet bet...

"Smith’s experience will shine through here... Smith to win on points looks worth a bet."

Liam Smith v Anthony Fowler
Saturday, 22:00
Live on DAZN

Eddie Hearn for Matchroom brings fight fans an evening of boxing from the Echo Arena, Liverpool, that has followers of the domestic scene excited. The main event is a Merseyside derby pairing Liam Smith and Anthony Fowler.

Expect fireworks as Smith aims to show he's a level above his opponent by out-classing him in the ring. Fowler knows he's the underdog for this 12-round battle but is confident he has what it takes to cause a huge upset.

We see the always entertaining Ted Cheeseman take on Troy Williamson for the British super welterweight title in the chief support. Marmite female bantamweight Shannon Courtney is up against Jamie Mitchell for the WBA female world title.

Beefy boasts elite level experience

Liam Smith is the battle-hardened experienced fighter who shared a ring with none other than Saul Alvarez in 2016. He has also been in with the likes of Liam Williams, Jaime Munguia and Sam Eggington. The 33-year-old lost his last fight on points in Russia to the unbeaten rising star of Russian boxing Magomed Kurbanov and has now suffered two defeats in his last five.

Suggestions are Beefy could be past his prime and beginning to show the wear and tear of a career spent mixing it with top-level fighters. Liam will want to prove that's not the case.

Since dropping a 12-round points decision to 37-0-0 Mexican Munguia in Las Vegas in 2018, getting off the canvas to test the judges, Smith has won three of four bouts. Stoppage wins over Sam Eggington and Mario Alberto Lozano, then a points victory against Roberto Garcia completed the hat-trick.

That purple patch earned Liam a crack at the WBO International title in Russia, where he was the underdog but went close. Although eventually losing on points, margins of two rounds, two rounds and five rounds as the away fighter in Russia tell the story.

Despite that patchy recent form, and the fact he's coming in on the back of a defeat, Smith is the pre-fight favourite on the Betfair exchange with odds of 1.758/11 available at the time of writing. The method of victory betting makes for interesting reading with the KO/TKO 2.6813/8, and a points win 3.814/5.

Fowler out to silence his critics

Fowler may enter as a rank outsider but when did that ever matter in a Merseyside derby? The underdog is one with serious bite and the skills needed to cause an upset.

Fowler isn't just fighting for the victory in this bout. He knows a win over an established name and former world title challenger would propel him up through the rankings. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain at the Echo Arena.

Anthony brings a professional record of 15 wins against one defeat, with a dozen victories scored inside the distance. The only loss on his card to date was inflicted by Scott Fitzgerald in another grudge match at this venue back in 2019 when edged out on points.

Since then, Anthony has fought six and won six, with each of his last four by stoppage. He was last seen taking out Germany's Rico Mueller in eight at Matchroom HQ three months ago.

This is a huge step up in class for Fowler, but it comes at the right time for him with confidence high following a winning run and impressive TKO win last time. Those with faith in the underdog can back Fowler for the win at 2.447/5. The points verdict is 4.47/2 with another KO/TKO 4.94/1.

Smith's experience to shine through

Fighters don't get to Smith's level without being a class above domestic level opponents. He's a talented boxer who would have learned some valuable hints and tricks from Canelo and Munguia. We also know he is tough enough if this bout descends into war, having twice beaten Williams.

Smith's experience will shine through here, and although he'll want to show he's out of Fowler's league and really shouldn't be mixing it at this level, he'll want to remain smart. Smith to win on points looks worth a bet, and that should see you profit from what will be an enjoyable contest.

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