American promoter Lou DiBella has admitted British boxing rules the world ahead of today’s clash between Jose Pedraza and Stephen Smith.
Smith (23-1-KO13) can swell Britain’s total of world champions to 13 if he dethrones IBF super-featherweight champion Pedraza (21-0-KO12) in Connecticut, live on Sky Sports.
DiBella told Sky Sports: “The quality of British boxing right now is, I think at an all-time high.
“I think Stephen is reflective of that quality – he’s No 1 contender for a reason. He earned it. He’s not a joke or a political situation – he earned the right to fight Pedraza.
“I think every British fighter out there fighting for a title is dangerous because they’re all watching what’s going on around them. It’s like a British boxing revolution. It’s pretty amazing what you guys are doing over there.
“Stephen thinks he can win and he’s here to win. You guys are hot. Right now, there is no country in the world hotter than Great Britain. You have more world champions than any place else.
“You have a Brit fighting for a world title and it’s one of the Smith brothers. It’s one of the great fighting families to ever come out of the UK with a 154lb champ, a 168lb European champ, a world title contender and now ‘Swifty trying to win a world title against Jose Pedraza.
“It’s a terrific match-up. He’s a legitimate No 1 contender and is trying to bring another championship back to Great Britain, to Liverpool and to his family. I think people should tune in because that’s a great fight.”
Also on the bill is a potential future opponent for Wales’ IBF featherweight king Lee Selby – WBC holder Gary Russell Jr (26-1-KO15), who fights Ireland’s Patrick Hyland (31-1-KO15)
DiBella added: “I’m sure you guys can root for a guy from Ireland, too, in Patrick Hyland.
“He’s had an amazingly difficult year, is a really inspirational young man. He’s got his hands full with one of the fastest, most athletic champions in boxing in Gary Russell Jr.
“Patrick is going to bring the fight. He has a lot to be fighting for. He’s focused. Everything he has, he’s going to be laying out there. When you have those kind of matches, you want to be staying up and watching them.”