Callum Smith: A World Champion in waiting?

One of the biggest questions on the lips of British boxing fans right now is: when will Callum Smith become a world champion?

Like the majority of fans, I have been enthralled by the meteoric rise of Liverpool’s super middleweight sensation Callum Smith. Despite just recently turning 24 years old, and having only started his professional career in November, 2012, ‘Mundo’ Smith has quickly amassed a perfect record of eleven victories with nine knockouts.

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As with all new prospects Callum Smith has been matched carefully by his promoter Eddie Hearn. Still, his stunning streak last year of 6 1st round knockouts is excellent by anyone’s standards. But in his most recent contest, Smith faced what many considered to be his first true test in the professional ranks, when he was matched against Welsh super middleweight champion Tobias Webb in his own backyard in Cardiff, Wales. He passed with flying colours, flooring the big Welshman four times with vicious body shots on his way to a second round knockout.

One suspect’s that even Smith must have been surprised by how he managed to dispose of Webb so quickly, in such ruthless fashion. If he wasn’t, then his promoter Eddie Hearn definitely must have been, because the prime intention of pairing Smith up with such a tough opponent so early in his career was obviously to ‘give him rounds’.

The main problem now is trying to temper his progress and find him suitable competition until he inevitably makes the step up in class to challenge for major titles. Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports insists Smith will be ready to scale the heights and be involved in massive fights in the super middleweight division within the next 18 months. However, he may be forced to revise his estimation after witnessing Smith’s demolition of a good young domestic fighter like Webb, who like Smith has similar ambitions to take his career to the next level.

Either way, the Mundo Smith juggernaut continues to steam ahead towards a shot at a major title at an impressive rate of knots.

Indeed, Smith, who is already the WBC International Champion at 168lb’s could soon add the British super middleweight belt to his increasing collection of titles, as his older brother Paul- who is currently the British champion at 168lb’s- is set to vacate the strap as he looks set for a world title tilt against Arthur Abraham who holds the WBO title. Negotiations are apparently already underway with Abraham’s promoters to try and arrange the fight in the autumn months and thus Callum could conceivably fight for the title British title vacated by his brother very soon

In any event, it is a foregone conclusion that Smith, who is already showing serious signs that he is outgrowing the domestic scene, will soon claim the British title. If only for the prestige associated with the famous Lord Lonsdale belt and the opportunity to match the feats of his other brothers; Paul, Steven and Liam who are all current British champions in their weight classes.

On the subject of Smith winning the British title and adding to his families’ legacy, he stated to me in an exclusive interview, I’ve always said the British title is one I would like to win. I’ve seen my brothers all win it and it would be nice to get the set and do something I don’t think will be done again. But that depends on Paul like you said.  For the time being I’m happy with the route Eddies taking me so we’ll just have to see how things go.”

Whatever way you look at it, there are many exciting fights on the horizon for Callum Smith, and there are few young fighters in boxing with a brighter future. For the majority of the boxing world it is a matter of when and not if Callum Smiths becomes a world champion.

When I quizzed on the big fights he could soon be involved in he said, I think the Froch and Groves fight showed how much the fans love a big domestic fight so if I could be involved in those with the likes of Degale and Groves then that would be brilliant. They are both world level fighters and I’m confident I can reach that level too. If I keep winning, keep improving, then why not?”

Regardless of whether it is at home or abroad, 18 months or sooner, the question on everyone lips will be answered- probably by a vicious left hook to the body from Smith as his opponents crumples to the canvas and he is crowned champion of the world.

Thanks for Reading. I look forward to reading your comments.

Follow me on Twitter: @F1ghtingTalk

Find me on: https://robbiebannatyne89.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

Exclusive Interview with Callum Smith: A star in the making

The future is bright for British boxing with many young and established fighters either currently holding versions of world titles in their weight classes or who hope to fight for the right to call themselves world champions in the near future. But perhaps the best young British talent with the brightest future is 24 year old super-middleweight sensation Callum Smith.

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One of the biggest questions on the lips of British boxing fans right now is: when will Callum Smith fight for a major title?

Promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports recently insisted Smith will be ready to be thrown into his 1st real baptism of fire against an elite opponent in 18 months time.

However, many feel this is a very conservative estimate from Eddie Hearn. Indeed the Matchroom Sports supremo may have revised his estimation after witnessing Smith’s annihilation of a fellow young British prospect Tobias Webb. Webb, the Welsh super-middleweight champion- who had only previously tasted defeat once out of 13 contests- was supposed to represent a real step up in class for the 6ft 3in Scouser. Yet he didn’t even last 6 minutes with Smith, who floored his opponent four times in the second round with crushing body blows- executed with surgical precision, with both hands.

With a body punch like Smith’s who could blame Matchroom for throwing his hat in the ring for the big fights sooner rather than later?

 Smith is already out growing the domestic scene despite only joining the professional ranks a mere 18 months ago. Eddie Hearn has a dilemma on his hands as far as Smith is concerned: does he wait to see how the cards fall in the super-middleweight division before deciding on Smith’s next move or does Hearn strike while the iron is hot and risk  him with top level opposition? There are obviously merits in both arguments. But it seems like Smith may be a victim of his own success, and his precipitous rise through the professional ranks has left his handlers scratching their heads and thinking ‘what do we do with him now?’

It is entirely understandable that Smith’s handlers to do not want to apply too much pressure on him and place him at a huge risk at such a premature stage in his fledgling career, but there is only so long they can be cautious with such a precocious young talent as ‘Mundo’ Smith.

There is a school of thought that says persisting with domestic opposition with Smith will be detrimental to his medium-long term development. What is the point on continuing to pair him up with fighters who are so clearly overmatched? On the contrary, if Smiths older brother Paul manages to secure a WBO world title fight with Arthur Abraham in the coming months then he will vacate his 168lb British title, which will smooth the path for Callum to become the fourth member of his family to hold the famous Lords Lonsdale belt. As previously mentioned, his oldest brother Paul (31) currently holds the British title at super-middleweight whilst Steven (28) was the former champion at 126lb and 130lb, and his other sibling Liam (25) is currently the light-middleweight champion.

Smith would love to enhance the incredible legacy of his brothers and he stated to me in an exclusive interview, “I’ve always said the British title is one I would like to win. I’ve seen my brothers all win it and it would be nice to get the set and do something I don’t think will be done again.”

If Callum Smith does soon capture the British title, then perhaps his promoter Eddie Hearn could try and secure a European title fight with 39 year old Sergey Khomitsky, who recently knocked out fellow British super-middleweight prospect Frank Buglioni, handing him a savage 6 round beating on the way to taking the Londoners title. One suspects a showdown with Khomitsky could serve as a useful measuring stick in gauging Smith’s progress.

On that subject Smith said, I would have preferred to of fought Buglioni as there was a lot of hype around him and myself and that would have been a big domestic fight. I always felt I had the style to beat him and it would have been nice to be the first to do so. But Khomitsky is a decent fighter. We’ll see what plans Eddie has for me but if that’s a fight he likes then I’m sure it will be a good test and show what level I’m at.”

By the way things are going it looks like I’m going the WBC route so I think the silver title is one Eddie will look at in a few fight maybe. It’s a good title to win. It was vacated by Degale and other holders are Khan, Bellew, and my brother Stephen. So that shows the level I’d need to be at to win and defend it”

Regardless of the path he takes, it seems inconceivable that Smith’s name will not be mentioned for major fights in the super-middleweight division in the not too distant future.

The future of British boxing is bright, but it will be even brighter when Callum Smith gets his chance to shine on the world stage.

Thanks for Reading. I look forward to reading your comments.

Follow me on Twitter: @F1ghtingTalk

Find me on: https://robbiebannatyne89.wordpress.com/