CALLUM SMITH, despite his WBC No. 3 ranking and the likelihood of the highly touted Liverpudlian getting a shot at that body’s title within the next year, will face fellow unbeaten local rival Rocky Fielding for the coveted Lonsdale Belt on November 7 at the Echo Arena.

“It was offered and I’ve always said I want to win the British title and I think if I don’t fight for it now, I probably won’t ever fight for it,” revealed Smith, who also backed George Groves to unseat WBC king Badou Jack on September 12 “if he raises his game”. “I’m also 100 per cent confident I’ll win, so rather than wait around for a world title shot I might as well win it to fulfil my ambition, vacate it and move on.”

Smith and Fielding, former amateur club-mates at Rotunda, have exchanged barbs on Twitter but Callum does not see the forthcoming showdown as a grudge match. “We boxed at the same amateur gym and he’s quite a quiet person but he seems to pipe up a bit on Twitter,” Smith chuckled. “We speak less now we’re going to fight but there’s no genuine needle. I’m looking forward to it, it’s a big local derby and there’s a lot of interest in it at the minute.”