Former two-time world super-featherweight title challenger Stephen Smith has retired from boxing.
The Liverpudlian made the announcement yesterday via his Instagram page. The 35-year-old leaves the sport with a record of 28 wins and four defeats.
‘Swifty’ hasn’t fought since a six-round points win against Johnny Phillips in his city’s Echo Arena 17 months ago. His last high-profile fight came in December 2017 when the Brit ventured to Las Vegas for the first time in his career to take on former world champion Francisco Vargas. Smith had been looking to reignite his world title aspirations on the big stage but came up short against the Mexican and had to retire in the ninth round due to a nasty ear injury which was ruled as having been caused by an accidental headbutt.
Smith’s world title dreams took him to America and Monte Carlo against Jose Pedraza and Jason Sosa respectively in 2016. They may have been two losses, but Smith can look back with pride on the effort he gave in each fight and against Sosa put up a display that provided a thoroughly entertaining affair.
His career which began against Shaun Walton in June 2008 took him on a 12-fight unbeaten run before running into a left uppercut from Lee Selby in round eight of their September 2011 British and Commonwealth featherweight title fight. Smith had picked up the Lonsdale belt in a fantastic rematch against John Simpson five months prior to facing the Welshman. His second fight against road warrior Simpson came seven months after defeating the Scot for his Commonwealth strap in another pulsating fight.
Smith would turn the tables on Wales when he inflicted a fabulous 5th round fight ending knockout of his own against Selby’s countryman Gary Buckland to win the British super-featherweight title.
Smith hails from a fighting family and is now the second of the brotherly quartet to hang up the gloves after Paul retired in 2018. Liam (at super-welterweight) and Callum (soon to be at light-heavyweight) continue to carry on the boxing tradition for their family.
“I had a great career amateur and pro and gave all I had to boxing,” said Stephen who won the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medal at featherweight.
“I literally couldn’t have trained any harder in trying to be the best and making weight was always tough – as it is for most of us, I won’t miss that.
“I thank everyone who coached me, right from the Rotunda ABC, through the England schools, under 17, under 19 and seniors. George Vaughan, Danny Vaughan and Joe Gallagher. The time and effort you all put into helping me in my career I can’t put into words to thank you enough never having really had the chance.”