Liam Smith to fight replacement opponent John Thompson for the vacant WBO light-middleweight title
Liam Smith (20-0-1, 10 KOs) will now face American John Thompson (17-1, 6 KOs) for the vacant WBO light middleweight title on October 10 in Manchester, after the withdrawal of original opponent Michel Soro.
The Liverpool fighter was initially supposed to be fighting Frenchman Soro, for the belt that was stripped from American Demetrius Andrade for inactivity, but due to an internal issue between Soro and his promoters Top Rank, Smith will now take on Thomson, who is coming off the most notable win of his career, a second round stoppage of Brandon Adams in May.
Smith said: "I don't care who's in front of me, nobody is going to stop me from winning the world title. I'm not bothered about Soro, all I care about is Thompson and beating him and getting that belt around my waist. I've seen Thompson before as I keep my eye on everyone in the division as I might one day fight them."
Thomson said: "I am ecstatic at the opportunity. I will look to take advantage of it and I'm ready to win and become world champion. It won't feel like fighting on the road. I have family in Scotland, who will be at the fight. I've been there before and that was a pleasure trip, but I am coming this time for business."
Also on the card at the Manchester Arena, Irishman Andy Lee (34-2-1, 24 KOs) defends his WBO middleweight title against Britain's Billy Joe Saunders (22-0, 12 KOs) and home favourite Terry Flanagan (28-0, 11 KOs) defends his WBO lightweight title against American Diego Magdaleno (28-1, 12 KOs).