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Pearce taking no chances against wily veteran Smith
10:30pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in Sport
STEVEN Pearce says he can’t afford to take any chances against Billy Smith this Friday.
The unbeaten Stourbridge welterweight meets the Worcester-based 137-fight veteran at Walsall Civic Hall in his fifth professional contest.
Smith has lost 121 of his bouts but his record belies a career facing some of the nation’s top talents including current WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns.
Pearce says this makes him dangerous.
He said: “We have taken this very seriously, you look past guys like Billy Smith at your peril.
“He will come to fight and was a two-time Midlands champion in his younger days.
“Granted his record does not look that great but he has been fighting the best of the best.”
Pearce has spent time sparring middleweights Ricky Summers and Quinton Hillocks, who also train at trainer Shaun Cooper’s Brierley Hill gym.
He added: “I always take it one fight at a time and I know I have to be careful against him.
“We have been working on speed and movement and I’m going to stick to my boxing rather than get drawn into a street fight with him.”
The Walsall show also includes the third professional fight of Brierley Hill light-middleweight Kyle Spencer, while Dudley super featherweight Dean Anderson faces Slovakia’s Elemir Rafael.
Meanwhile, Stourbridge welterweight Sam Eggington is celebrating a successful start to his career in the paid ranks.
The 18-year-old upset local favourite Leon Findlay in a four-round contest in Swansea last weekend. In a closely-fought contest, Eggington’s strong uppercuts and superior work-rate proved the difference as referee Reece Carter awarded him the fight 39-37.