Positive Test – Caoimhin Agyarko happy with tonight’s step up

Caoimhin Agyarko [6(3)-0] got what he wanted when Jez Smith [11(5)-1(1)] was confirmed as his opponent this week.

The English fighter wasn’t first on the opponent wish list- by all accounts seven bigger names turned the fight down – but ticks the majority of boxes when it comes to what Agyarko desires from a post lockdown foe.

The Belfast middleweight is happy the Harrow native, a brother of Mitchell Smith, gives him the chance to leave journey man level.

The 23-year-old Queensbury prospect believes his opponent will come to fight, come to win and will ask questions, all extreme positives on the Agyarko scale.

“Jez Smith is a decent opponent so I am looking forward to it,” said the 23-year-old from Belfast. “I have been wanting someone who will come and fight, someone who will throw back and leave openings. Someone who will test me as well, so this could be it.”

The one negative is Smith isn’t a natural middleweight. ‘Black Thunder’s’ seventh pro career opponent has campaigned at welterweight up to this point and that is something that could prevent ‘Black Thunder’ from making a serious statement regardless of performance.

Smith has revealed he planned to move anyway and Agyark isn’t reading too much into what his foe tipped the scales at previously.

The Holy Trinity BC graduate knows Friday’s BT Sports broadcast clash is his toughest to date and he is treating Smith as a threat.

“He has never fought at middleweight before, but he carries a bit of power for a welterweight and has five stoppages from his 11 wins. I’ll not be taking anything for granted.

“Regardless of whether he is a welterweight or not, I am taking it as my toughest fight to date and I am going to put on a good performance.”

Agyarko told Irish-boxing.com that five unbeaten middles as well as two former British title challengers knocked back his advances before Smith said yes.

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He admits those ‘names’ would have been preferable, but does suggest the recent Southern Area challenger has enough credentials to enable to pursue bigger fights if he impresses.

“Obviously I would have preferred a middleweight with a good record but nobody wanted to step up to the plate at this moment in time. Fair play to Jez for taking this fight and I am sure he will be out to prove everybody wrong and 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.”

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sports for a living for over 20 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com