British champion Smith wants Lonsdale belt for keeps

Stephen Smith
Smith beat John Simpson for the British title in April

British and Commonwealth featherweight champion Stephen Smith says he wants to earn a Lonsdale belt outright.

Smith, 26, defends his British title for the first time against Lee Selby at the Liverpool Olympia on 17 September.

"I do set myself goals, my first one was my first title," Smith told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"The Lonsdale belt is what I wanted and a small goal is winning it outright. It's three defences to win the Lonsdale belt and this is notch number one."

Smith has lifted the Commonwealth and British titles in back-to-back victories over John Simpson.

The former amateur star, now unbeaten in 12 fights in the paid ranks, feels his 24 rounds with a man of Simpson's calibre and durability will enhance his career development.

"I feel I've learned a lot, you can't buy that experience.

"He is one of the toughest men you'll meet, especially at featherweight, so outboxing him over two fights will put me in good stead and people will see a massive improvement as I move on," said Smith.

After weathering a couple of tough encounters with Simpson, Smith now feels his fight against Lee Selby will be a totally different encounter.

"It's at completely the other end of the scale.

"All Simpson's good attributes, like his strength and toughness are non-existent with Selby, without talking him down," said Smith.

"Selby is the opposite, he's a cagey mover, very fast and elusive. He's the other end of the scale to Simpson."