Sheffield boxing: British title tilt just one win away for Rod

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The biggest night of Rod Smith’s life lies ahead of him, on Saturday.

The Dronfield brawler takes on a similarly-unbeaten middleweight Tom Doran in a British title eliminator on a Sky TV show in Liverpool.

Welshman Doran has twice the professional experience and is the favourite.

But ‘Razor’ Rod, whose recent sparring partners have included Kell Brook’s two-time foe Carson Jones - is brimming with confidence.

“It is a title eliminator against Doran (15+0) - the biggest fight of my career.

“If you don’t get a few nerves against a kid like this you are never going to get them. But it’s an opportunity that has to be taken” said the Gleadless-born rough-house. “He has fought decent kids (previously) but I don’t see the likes of Liam Cameron on his CV so I think we are evenly matched on that.

“He won the Prizefighter (TV tournament) so he is a worthy contender.

“I have been in a hard eight week training camp and left no stone unturned.

“He is good (but) he looks a bit easy to hit. But he is a gutsy kid and at the end of the day he got the result he wanted on Prizefighter.”

Smith accepts he is known as a come-forward scrapper, while 28-year-old Doran regards himself as a thinking man’s boxer. Potentially it is a brain v brawn contest.

Rod Smith - hoping to have his hand in the air on Saturday night

Rod Smith - hoping to have his hand in the air on Saturday night

“I like to go forward, I will try and rough him up. He has got a good left hook which we have been studying. He is going to try and box and I have got to take it to him” said Smith.

The fact that Smith is in a national title eliminator after just seven pro fights surprised everyone, him included.

“It is progressing quicker than I thought but Richard Poxon (matchmaker) has done his work and asked me if I’d take it and I am in it for big things so when it is given to you, you need to take these opportunities” said 24-year-old Smith.

“I am 10 out of 10 confident he can win, you don’t go in there thinking you are going to get beat, I am the fittest I am going to be, so Saturday night should be a good result, touch wood.”

Doran’s last fight was staged at the same Liverpool Arena where he meets Smith - he stopped Warwick’s Mike Byles.