Cocky Tom Doran looks past Dronfield boxer Rod Smith

Smith v Doran
Smith v Doran

Tom Doran is making the mistake of overlooking Dronfield's Rod Smith, whom he fights for a British middleweight title eliminator in Liverpool tomorrow.

Doran says he is gunning for Nick Blackwell's Lonsdale belt – after he sees off Smith in an eliminator clash at the Echo Arena.

Doran moved back into title contention in February when he landed the Prizefighter title in Blackpool, Craig Cunningham, Luke Keeler and Cello Renda. That win put him into the limelight and Doran says he has timed his run perfectly to take the title from Blackwell in 2016.

“Nick Blackwell needs to get that Lonsdale belt polished for me,” said Doran.

“I don’t think Blackwell’s amateur background was that extensive and I really fancied John Ryder to beat him back in May. I felt that Ryder would be too big and strong for him. Credit to Nick though, he dug in and stopped him. He’s getting better with each fight that passes and I’m relishing the opportunity to get in the ring with him – after I’ve dealt with Rod Smith of course.

“I’ve got the style to cruise the odd rounds with my boxing against Rod Smith – I haven’t watched much of him. He’s going to come at me all guns blazing, but from what I’ve heard he’s not a massive puncher – but my class will show and I’m confident I will outbox him.

“I believe that I had enough experience before I took a break from boxing for three years to go for a British title then. I didn’t though and I feel better for it experience-wise now. I feel that I’m maturing in and out of the ring – they are all big fights now.”

Doran’s clash with Smith is part of a big night on Merseyside as unbeaten Liverpool Super Middleweights Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding clash for the vacant British title.

Ricky Burns is on the trail of his old WBO Lightweight World crown and faces Aussie Josh King for the Inter-Continental strap, Scotty Cardle defends his British Lightweight title against local favourite Sean ‘Masher’ Dodd, unbeaten Lightweight talent Ohara Davies faces Chris Truman and Team GB star Warren Baister makes his pro debut.