Unbeaten Kieran Smith is ready for familiar foe Evaldas Korsakas as he looks to climb above his visitor and into the world super-welterweight rankings.
The Scot is bidding for the WBC International Silver title against Korsakas, who he stopped in three rounds on professional debut before the Lithuanian’s remarkable resurgence saw him embark on a two-year unbeaten that has included stoppages of Denton Vassell and Chris Jenkinson.
As Livingston’s Smith (12-0-KO6) bids to announce himself in style at Glasgow’s Emirates on November 30 – live on BoxNation, he’s confident he holds a psychological edge.
Smith said: “Korsakas isn’t anything new to me. I already fought him so I know what he brings to the table and what I can expect when the bell goes.
“It won’t be the same Korsakas I stopped back then because I know he’s a bit better now. However, it’ll be in the back of his mind that I’ve already chinned him.
“My last fight, you didn’t get to see the best of my power and I think you’ll see it more in this one. I’ve kept in the gym and I’ve kept on improving my simply listening to my coaches.
“This is a massive fight for me and it’s my first title. Hopefully, I’ll have massive support there with me on the night and the place will be loud, cheering me on.
“I don’t feel any pressure despite it being a ‘breakthrough’ fight as such. These are the kind of fights I’ve always wanted so a massive thanks to MTK Global for getting me in there.”
Smith vs. Korsakas takes place on a huge MTK Global show that includes Ukashir Farooq vs. Iain Butcher for the British title, Tyrone McKenna vs. Lewis Benson, David Brophy, Michael McGurk, Reece McFadden, Jack Turner and more.
The highly-rated Jack Turner is brimming with ambition as he prepares for his professional debut at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena on November 30. Glasgow bantamweight Turner joins the paid ranks having excelled as an amateur; winning the Scottish title and claiming a British silver medal.
Kicking off with a slot on a huge MTK Global card – live on BoxNation – Turner is confident he’ll take to the spotlight like a duck to water having been honing his skills by sparring one of the headliners; Iain Butcher.
He said: “I’m more than ready for this. Training and the whole camp have been fantastic. I’m going to perform and I’m so eager to get going.
“The standard of sparring I’ve had has been phenomenal. I’ve been sparring Iain, who’s challenging Kash Farooq for the British title on the night. You can’t ask for much better sparring than that.
“It’s obviously a massive bill on which to be making my professional debut but I’ve no doubt I’ll be able to contain the nerves and focus on the task in hand.
“I’m just keen to get the job done and then sit back and watch the rest of the boxing. There are some fantastic fights on the night and I’m going to really enjoy watching them after mine is done.”
Former Team GB Simon Vallily has stepped up to heavyweight after a split draw decision denied him the English cruiserweight title.
The Middlesbrough man (13-2-1-KO4) will now operate in boxing’s marquee division and is looking to establish himself quickly in a busy domestic scene.
Vallily said: “The decision to move up to heavyweight was an easy and natural one for me to make because making cruiserweight has been an issue in my last few fights.
“I’ve been fighting against my body for some time now and it’s a hindrance. My last outing, I wasn’t able to make the limit despite trying everything I could.
“This will bring about a lot of improvements on my overall performance – specifically strength, endurance and punching power. They’ll be clear to see.
“I’m really excited about this. I’ll take up all my speed and athleticism and people will be surprised by the power I bring now I’m not draining myself to make weight.
“I want to get straight into the domestic scene next year. I’m looking to fight and knock out the heavyweights on the British scene at every opportunity that comes my way.
“I’ve always had the skills. Everyone knows it. Now it’s the knockouts I’m after because that’s what everyone likes to see.”
Unbeaten lightweight Gary Cully will move up in level against Mohammed Kambuluta in Belfast on December 7 – live on iFL TV.
The Naas starlet (6-0-KO3) halted Jordan Ellison at the city’s Titanic Exhibition Centre last time out and returns to the same venue to take on Tanzania’s Kambuluta (18-5-KO7).
Cully said: “Kambuluta is a good step up for me on paper but every time he’s been out of Africa, he’s been beaten and he was beaten by Martin J Ward.
“It’s a good name to take. He’s a solid winning record and he’s been with the likes of Ward and world title challenger Luke Jackson. I’m looking forward to the challenge and I hope to get him out of there in the middle rounds.
“If Ellison is a journeyman, he’s the best one you get before you step up. Not many people do what I did to him. I got him out in the third round and that was a real statement.
“I want to get a good win under my belt in December against a good opponent and then be eligible to fight for titles in the new year. By the time I hit 10-0, I’m hoping to have a European title.
“I want Robbie Barrett or Craig Evans. Evans has just become WBO European and Barrett already has the IBF European so either of those can get me a world ranking, and that’s what I want next year.”
Cully’s task comes on another huge night of boxing for Belfast with the likes of Conrad Cummings vs. Brian Rose, Lewis Crocker vs. Martin Harkin, Sean McComb, Paddy Gallagher, Phil Sutcliffe Jr, Padraig McCrory and more in action.
Motherwell hero Iain Butcher is revelling in the build-up to a huge night of boxing for Scotland that sees him challenge Ukashir Farooq for the British bantamweight title.
‘Baby Butch’ (18-3-KO5) takes on Farooq (10-0-KO4) in the champion’s hometown of Glasgow on Friday – live on BoxNation – on what he believes could turn out to be a classic night for Scottish boxing.
Butcher said: “I’d say this is one of the biggest boxing nights in Scotland. Putting aside the Ricky Burns cards, it’s up there with one of the best nights. Aside from my fight, there are other great fights too.
“It’s great that it’s being broadcast on BoxNation too. It’s good to be on TV and it really puts it on the map.
“The atmosphere on fight night is going to be electric. It’s going to be a massive night in there. A lot of the Scottish boxers will have great support. I was at the first TV card MTK Global put on and it was a good atmosphere. This will be even bigger.
“The other fight that excites me the most is Tyrone McKenna vs. Lewis Benson. I think that’ll be a cracker. I can see Benson being on the floor and picking himself up to dig deep. I think that’ll be a very interesting fight.
“I hope this sets up a big 2019. Ideally, I’ll end this year with my hands on the British title and head to next year in a positive mind. I wasn’t that busy in 2018 but I’m confident we’ll have the British title on Friday night and then we can challenge for European honours next year.”
Farooq vs. Butcher headlines a night of boxing that also includes McKenna vs. Benson, Kieran Smith bidding for a WBC world ranking plus David Brophy, Michael McGurk, Reece McFadden, Jack Turner and more.