HOMETOWN favourite Sam ‘Sniper’ Smith prepared for his Southern Area super-middleweight title bout in solid style at the weekend when beating Latvian threat Edgars Sniedze 39-38 at the Oasis Leisure Centre.

Part of the nine-bout Fight Town 2 card, hosted by promoter Mark Neilson in conjunction with trainer Paddy Fitzpatrick, Smith controlled proceedings against his 31-year-old opponent to advance his professional record to 7-2-0.

The fight was by no means a gimme for the Reading-born puncher.

Weighing in half-a-stone lighter than Sniedze, Smith delivered a solid if unspectacular performance to chalk up a confidence-boosting win ahead of his title bout, which is scheduled for the Fight Town 3 card on November 30.

However, Smith’s original Southern Area opponent Anthony Fox – who pulled out of this weekend’s card through injury – could be forced to miss the pair’s revised date for the same reason.

Trainer Fitzpatrick took great confidence from his charge’s promising performance on Saturday.

Fitzpatrick said: “It was a case of don’t fight and wait for November 30, or take a risk and sharpen your tools.

“That’s what Sniper chose to do.

“He put on a solid performance. It wasn’t spectacular but against a big, strong man, he kept his place for a Southern Area title fight.”

Elsewhere on the card, Bec Connolly picked up a timely win when downing Bojana Libiszewska 39-38.

Fighting in front of her children for the first time, Connolly received an additional boost when promoter Neilson confirmed her bout would be the evening’s penultimate fight.

Support for the 35-year-old was again strong, and she delivered the goods against a fighter who Fitzpatrick described as a tricky opponent.

The Irish trainer said: “It was Bec’s best performance yet.

“Bojana makes things awkward for her opponent. She’ll move away, then all of a sudden, she’ll tie you up and break your rhythm.

“Bec was prepared for that, and I though emotionally and technically she was solid throughout.”

Former IBO continental welterweight title challenger Ryan Martin topped the bill but he could only register a draw against last-minute opponent Ohio Kain Iremiren.

Remarkably, 55 fighters were consulted by Fitzpatrick and Neilson ahead of the bout.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that Fitzpatrick was quick to praise Martin for adapting well to the threats his opponent delivered.

Fitzpatrick insists the 25-year-old’s efforts in rounds seven and eight warranted a victory – but it wasn’t to be.

“I told Ryan his opponent could do everything he could – he just can’t do it as well as Ryan can,” said Fitzpatrick.

“It was an excellent fight. Someone that knows and understands boxing would’ve loved the fight.

“I knew he had to do something to start pulling away after six rounds, and I thought he did that. I thought we had it by a couple of rounds.”

Other results on the card included wins for Johnny Ward, Phil Williams, Jensen Irving, Andre Grant, Bradley Townsend and Max Mudway.