Callum Smith: A World Champion in waiting?
By Robbie Bannatyne: 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.
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.
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