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Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Smith ready for Dodson challenge

Paul Smith and Tony Dodson
Paul Smith (left) faces city rival Tony Dodson in his first British Title defence

By Craig Lowe, BBC Radio Merseyside Boxing Correspondent

British super-middleweight champion Paul Smith believes fellow Liverpool fighter Tony Dodson is an ideal opponent for his first title defence.

Smith, 27, will face former British champion Dodson, 29, at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on 12 March.

"You'll see the best of me with Tony Dodson because of the style," Smith told BBC Radio Merseyside.

"He'll come at me to fight and he'll leave himself open and that's when you see a good fight."

Smith was unhappy with his performance when he beat local rival Tony Quigley to take the title on Merseyside in October.

He feels opting to face Dodson in another derby fight is the right thing to do for his fans.

"I picked Tony Dodson, I wanted to fight him. I feel I owe the fans a little bit after my last performance so it's sort of a little payback to them and a thank you to them," he said.

"But back to the boxing side of things and I've sparred enough rounds with Tony Dodson to know what I can do to him."

Dodson became British Champion in 2003 before a series of injuries forced him to relinquish the belt.

He has since lost two attempts to win it back against Carl Froch in 2006 and Quigley in 2009.

The 'Garston warrior' as he is known admits this fight could be his final chance to reclaim the title.

"I'm in the last chance saloon but my time is going to come and I genuinely believe this is my time," Dodson said.

"It's been a passion to try and get it back. I mean, four chances for the British Title? I don't think there's anyone in Liverpool that can ever say (they've had) that."

Should Smith come through his meeting with Dodson unscathed his handlers are hoping to get him a crack at WBO world champion Robert Stieglitz.

While Smith would relish the chance to fight the German, he says for now he is looking no further than Dodson.

"Everything is dependant on me beating Dodson, my whole life and career is dependant on me beating Dodson.

"I don't want to lose and I won't lose. I'll do everything I can in training and on the night to make sure that doesn't happen."