Smith defends 154 belt with possible Alvarez fight at stake

Junior middleweight titleholder Liam Smith, right, will defend his title against Canelo Alvarez on Saturday. Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Junior middleweight world titleholder Liam Smith watched last week as his three brothers -- super middleweight contender Callum Smith, junior lightweight Stephen Smith and two-time super middleweight title challenger Paul Smith -- all won their fights.

Now it’s up to Liam (22-0-1, 12 KOs) to see whether the family can go 4-0 in the span of a week when he defends his 154-pound crown for the second time in facing Montenegro’s Predrag Radosevic on Saturday at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, the Smiths' hometown.

“I’m buzzing to get back in the ring on Saturday. I’ve been out of the ring since December, and I’ve had a good rest,” Smith said. “I’ve been linked with some big names, but none of those fights can happen if I don’t win this weekend. I’m fully focused on Predrag Radosevic. He’s a dangerous opponent and has my full attention. I’m from too good a family and too good a gym to overlook anyone.”

Smith, 27, is one of the possible September opponents for lineal middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez should a fight with unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin go unmade -- as most expect. If Alvarez were to fight Smith, he could either do the fight at his preferred 155 pounds for the lineal middleweight title or cut one pound to 154 and challenge for Smith’s belt.

If that fight happened, Smith would likely have to fight Alvarez in the United States. For Saturday’s defense, he is happy to be fighting at home.

“I want to put on a good performance back in my home city,” said Smith, who stopped American John Thompson in the seventh round to win the vacant belt in October and made his first defense by seventh-round knockout of Jimmy Kelly in December. “I won the title in Manchester and defended it in Manchester but there’s no place like home. I’m going to put on a show for everyone.”

Radosevic (30-1, 11 KOs), 31, suffered his only loss in July 2013, a fourth-round knockout at middleweight to former four-time middleweight world titleholder Felix Sturm in a nontitle bout in Germany. Radosevic has won three fights since but is not considered to be much of a test for Smith.