Stephen Smith believes victory over Francisco Vargas on December 9 will earn him another world title fight.
‘Swifty’ (25-3-KO15) fell short in his previous attempts at world honours, losing to Jose Pedraza and Jason Sosa in 2016, but now hopes a notable win on the Orlando Solido vs Miguel Roman Wage undercard at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas will earn him a third shot.
“He’s a former world champion, a great fighter and a great name,” Smith told boxingscene.
“He’s the number two with the WBC and if I beat him and take that ranking then that puts me close to the mandatory position for the world title anyway, whether the fight ends up an eliminator or not.
“If I get a world title fight off the back of it, if I beat him with him being the name that he is, then it’s a good move.”
Vargas (23-1-2-KO17) claimed the WBC super featherweight title against Takashi Miura in 2015, but was stopped inside 11 rounds by Miguel Berchelt in January to suffer the first professional loss of his career.
The 32-year-old Mexican has had less professional fights than Smith and is the same age, but the Liverpool fighter feels the style which the former champion has implemented throughout his career is unsustainable and will be exposed on the night.
“You only have to look at his face after his last three fights. He’s not the hardest to hit,” Smith said.
“I don’t care who you are, when you’re in top fights like he is and taking punishment like he has taken in his recent fights, that’s got to put miles on your clock. He’s 32 and his body is different when it comes to reacting to things like that than it would be if he was 21.
“I reckon I can use that to my advantage and if I get in there and start landing on him, get my own stuff off and use my own skillset then I can definitely win the fight.
“I don’t think he knows another way of fighting. He’s just a very tough, fit man and he brings it 100 per cent every time.
“The main thing is, I’m going out to Vegas to get that win.”