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Callum Smith looking past Rebrasse fight towards a Groves match-up

By Scott Gilfoid: #3 WBC super middleweight contender Callum Smith (16-0, 12 KOs) has a fight this Friday on June 26th against the light hitting #11 WBC Christopher Rebrasse (23-3-3, 6 KOs) at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, UK.

Despite having a full plate in this fight, which could be more than the limited Smith can handle, he’s already looking beyond it for a hoped for fight against #1 WBC George Groves (21-2, 16 KOs). Smith is assuming that Groves will beat WBC 168lb champ Badou Jack this year in their fight in August or September, and that he’ll defeat Rebrasse on Friday and then Rocky Fielding on September 26th.

If all those pieces fall into place, the 6’3” Smith, the younger brother of the recently battered Paul Smith, believes he’ll be fighting Groves for the WBC super middleweight title in 2016. It’s a lot of wishful thinking on Smith’s part because he could fall apart in his next two fights, and Groves can definitely get knocked cold by Badou Jack, which some boxing fans believe will happen.

Even if Smith does beat Rebrasse and Fielding, he’s going to be really up against it in a fight against Badou Jack, who would be very pleased to fight an upright slugger with poor defensive skills like Callum Smith. I don’t think the 25-year-old Smith is even remotely ready for a talented fighter like Badou Jack.

“I think me beating Groves for a world title is a much bigger fight than me beating some American,” Smith said via “Britain loves a domestic fight. I’d like him to win it but if he doesn’t, I’ll go after whoever’s champion. It should be a great night on Friday and I’m really looking forward to it.”

I’m still trying to figure out why Callum Smith is being matched against the light hitting Rebrasse, who was recently beaten by Groves? What’s the upside to fighting a guy that was recently beaten? As a fighter, I would be protesting long and hard that I didn’t want Groves’ sloppy seconds. Why isn’t Eddie Hearn matching Smith against the likes of Andre Dirrell, Anthony Dirrell, Gilberto Ramirez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Sakio Bika, Lucian Bute or Derek Edwards? Why a soft job like Rebrasse. It’s such a pity because you know that when Smith finally does step it up against a true talent, he’s not going to be ready, not with the awful opposition he’s been fighting.

Also on the Smith-Rebrasse card are the following mismatches: cruiserweight Tony Bellew facing a little known over-matched fighter named Ivica Bacurin, super middleweight Martin Murray facing George Beroshvili and Rocky Fielding fighting journeyman Brian Vera. Honestly, none of those fights are competitive and I’m disappointed to the extreme why this card was put together with these mismatches.

Bellew was supposed to be fighting another journeyman named Lobos Suda, but he pulled out of the fight and was quickly replaced by Bacurin. I guess that’s the beauty of fighting an over-matched 2nd tier fighter. If he pulls out at the last second, then it’s no big deal to replace him. All you do is snatch another lower level 2nd tier fighter to step and you pretty much get the same results as you would have had if the first obscure fighter hadn’t pulled out of the fight.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for Rebrasse. He’s got great durability,” Smith said. “He went the distance with Groves and has never been stopped. He gave Groves 12 tough rounds and I’m expecting the same. If I stop him, that’s a bonus.”

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