Boxing: Bullish McMillan aims to silence partisan Scouse crowd

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Light middleweight boxer Gary McMillan believes he can prosper in the face of a strong home backing for opponent Liam Smith when the two face off in a British title eliminator fight in Liverpool this evening.

The 25-year-old Capital ace faces Scouse star Smith at the Liverpool Olympia in what McMillan describes as the “biggest fight of his career”.

However, he expects Smith to feel added pressure from not wanting to disappoint the majority of those in attendance.

McMillan said: “I live for going into somebody’s backyard, so I can’t wait. I’ll have some of my family down there as well but I think it will work in my favour as it may make him agitated wanting to impress his crowd. He could start making mistakes. It’s labelled as a British eliminator so hopefully after this I’ll get a shot at a British title. It’s definitely my biggest fight. I’m feeling confident and ready for it.”

McMillan is aware of the reputation the name Smith carries throughout Merseyside boxing, his opponent being the younger brother of former British super middleweight and featherweight champions, Paul and Stephen. Nevertheless, McMillan is relishing the challenge.

“I’m actually quite relaxed and chilled out. As I said, the fight is in his own backyard and with his brothers going on to win British titles in their careers, he’s expected to do the same. There’s no pressure on me whatsoever. I know what to do and know I am going to win.”

Coach Terry McCormack is confident McMillan will prevail in Liverpool tonight. He said: “He is looking brilliant. If he can take into the ring how he has been performing in sparring and his training leading up to the fight, he’ll knock this boy out.”