Unbeaten middleweight Caoimhin Agyarko ready to step up against Jez Smith

Caoimhin Agyarko Hynes ahead of his bout at the Ulster Hall. Picture Mark Marlow.
Andy Watters

UNBEATEN Belfast middleweight Caoimhin Agyarko takes a step up in class against Jez Smith tonight, live on BT Sport 1 from at 7pm.

Agyarko (6-0) is relishing the challenge of taking on Londoner Smith, who is stepping up from welterweight, and had gone unbeaten in his first dozen fights before losing to Samuel Antwi in February.

"He is a decent opponent so I'm looking forward to it," said the 23-year-old Agyarko.

"I've been wanting someone who will come and fight, someone who will throw back and leave openings and who will test me as well, so this could be it.

"He has never fought at middleweight before, but he carries a bit of power for a welterweight so I'll not be taking anything for granted. I'm taking it as my toughest fight to date and I'm going to put on a good performance.

"I would have preferred a middleweight with a good record but nobody wanted to step up to the plate so fair play to Jez for taking this fight and I'm sure he will be looking to cause an upset.

"This is a stepping stone for me, a domestic dust-up and what I've been calling for. I am looking forward to getting the job done and moving on to bigger and better things."

Londoner Smith - younger brother of former WBO European champion Mitchell Smith - views the fight as his passport back to the big stage after that Antwi loss and he is not concerned about stepping up to the 160lb division.

“I look at Agyarko and I don't think he is a middleweight,” he said.

"I believe he is not massive at the weight and, if he wanted to, he could do a lower weight. He is quite chunky but it doesn't faze me and I believe I am strong enough and I spar bigger lads all the time.

"I can fight, I can box and, I'll tell you one thing for sure, I am not coming in as a body. I am coming to win and he is going to get a tough night's work.

"It is a massive opportunity for me. It is on BT Sport and if I put on a massive performance and turn him over it opens up a huge door for me.

"I am not saying I am going to fight at middleweight from now on, it is just a fight I believe I hold my own in. I believe I can win. I am not being unrealistic because I don't think he is a world-beater. I've watched him and he is a good fighter, but I am believe I am too and I can't wait to get in there.

"If people go off my last performance then more fool them."

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