Liam Smith has questioned the desire of Jessie Vargas ahead of their fight on April 30.
The super-welterweight clash serves as a terrific looking chief support bout before Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano take centre stage for Matchroom’s main event at Madison Square Garden in New York.
A fight between the two 154lb contenders has been mooted for a few years and Smith had grown impatient at waiting for the bout to come to fruition.
“I know Jessie’s a nice lad, I don’t know why I’ve generated a bit of needle,” Smith told Matchroom Boxing.
“Maybe because of all the messing about. I boxed Sam Eggington in March 2019 and Eddie [Hearn] mentioned that fight to me in the ring and I thought, yeah that’s a fight I’d like. He fought Mikey Garcia two years ago he could have easily fought me in those two years. It’s done my head in because it’s a fight I wanted.”
Vargas, a former world champion at 140lbs and 147lbs, is balancing his boxing career with his move into politics which will see the 32-year-old run for Congress this summer.
“You’ve got to question whether Jessie wants to be here,” said the former WBO champion.
“He’s running for Congress, he hasn’t boxed for two years, he only has one fight left in his contract with Eddie and Matchroom. I think is this his last little hurrah? Is this his goodbye, last payday and goes into politics?
“Ultimately, I think I’ll be too big, too strong for Jessie. I’m a fully-fledged 154, I have been my whole career. Jessie’s going from light-welter to welter to super-welter. I think it’ll stand in my favour. It’s one if I turn up 100%, I know I’ll win and win well.”