By Andrew Graves @andrewgravess
Liverpool boxing is absolutely booming at the moment with such boxers as the 4 Smith brothers, Tony Bellew, Derry Matthews and Joe Selkirk just to name a few, but is there another Smith (no relation) who could possibly be the next break out star from the city?
20 year old Zak Smith is a boxer from Kirkby, Liverpool who has a tremendous amateur record of 40-6 with some of them "losses" being very debatable due to poor scoring and a few home town decisions. Zak amazingly won 6 national titles throughout his junior to schoolboy career. Smith has proudly represented England on numerous occasions winning a Bronze Medal at the European championships, Smith also medalled at the Tri Nations winning a silver. The Brit would go 16-0 in his amateur career with his first taste of defeat being at the European championships when he would come up against a Russian fighter who was the European and World champion, this defeat would only help Smith train even harder and improve him moving on with his career were he would make his name as one of the best fighters in his weight category in Europe. After accomplishing so much in his amateur career at only 18 years old Smith would make the massive decision to move up the professional ranks in 2012, In the very same year Smith would make his professional debut in a 3 rounder, Having a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform in front of thousands of spectators in his home city of Liverpool at the Olympia on the undercard of a Prizefighter bill, Smith would put on an impressive performance showing superb boxing ability getting in and out of range using his tremendous speed, Smith would go on to win the bout via Unanimous decision. Ever since this impressive performance Zak would only box once more as a professional also winning that bout in a dominant display improving his pro record to 2-0. Earlier this year Smith made the difficult decision to once again become an amateur feeling it could help him develop his career and receive more experience before moving back up to the pro game, it has to be said that part of Smith's decision was also largely due to promoters not getting him enough fights or exposure with him only having 2 fights in the space of nearly a couple of years when traditionally a newly turned pro would of fought between 5/10 times in this period.
As a friend of Smith's and someone who knows how great of a person he is and someone who was also there for his first fight as a professional, I hope this decision will only benefit his boxing career and in the years to come Smith will join the many top boxers to come out of Liverpool.