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Callum Smith confident he’ll beat DeGale-Jack winner


By Scott Gilfoid: Fresh off his tougher than expected victory over little known Cesar Hernan Reynoso on the undercard of Tony Bellew vs. Ilunga Makabu on May 29, #1 WBC super middleweight contender Callum Smith (20-0, 14 KOs) is now looking forward towards a much anticipated shot at the WBC super middleweight title.

Smith, 26, will be fighting the winner of the Badou Jack vs. James DeGale unification fight for the IBF and WBC titles unless the winner of that match decides to vacate the WBC belt. In that case, Smith will be either given the WBC 168lb title by the World Boxing Council, or he’ll need to fight the next available contender.

My guess is the WBC will give Smith the belt like they gave Gennady Golovkin the strap after former WBC champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez vacated the belt.

Smith is already thinking of where he’ll be making his first defense of his IBF/WBC belts. He wants to defend them at Anfield, in Liverpool. Why Smith is already thinking that far ahead is hard to know. It seems kind of odd that Smith would be thinking as far as that because the way he looked in struggling against Reynoso on May 29, the last thing he should be assuming is he’ll beat the winner of the Jack-DeGale fight. I mean, I thought Smith looked absolutely terrible.

Smith was missing with his punches all night long, and getting nailed repeatedly by the 2nd tier fighter Reynoso. If Reynoso had even a tiny bit of punching power, Smith would have been in a world of hurt. Smith knocked Reynoso down three times in dropping him in rounds 1, 4 and 5. The fight was stopped in the 6th round with Reynoso still fighting back.

Why he referee didn’t halt the fight in the other rounds when it made sense is unknown. It just seemed weird to me the stoppage because Reynoso still throwing punches. Overall, I thought Smith looked horrible, and definitely not like a guy ranked No.1.

“If they fight then I’ll fight the winner and I’d go into the fight confident of becoming a world champion. Hopefully I can win a world title and then I’d love to defend it at Anfield,” said Smith to “I’ve got to sit and wait. I’m going to have a little holiday. It all depends on James DeGale and Badou Jack and whether they come to an agreement on a unification fight.”

Smith isn’t going to be fighting for the IBF/WBC title against the winner of the DeGale vs. Badou fight anytime soon. Smith should be leaning on his promoter Eddie Hearn to find him an opponent that can give him some rounds and more experience.

Preferably, Smith should fight an actual contender so that he can learn something rather than fighting a weak 2nd tier guy that will be in the survival mode for the entire fight. Smith is still lacking in experience against the upper levels of the division. Thus far, Smith’s wins have come against these fringe contenders Nikola Sjekloca, Christopher Rebrasse, Rocky Fielding, and Hadillah Mohoumadi. These are not great fighters.

I’d like to see how Smith handles one of the talented contenders in the division like the Dirrell brothers, Alexander Brand, Jesse Hart, Rogelio Medina, Fedor Chudinov or Arthur Abraham. If Smith could beat those type of contenders, then I could see him getting a crack at a world title, but definitely not from the guys that he’s beaten so far. Those were soft jobs in my view and not a real test.

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Personally, I don’t think Smith is ready to face the likes of DeGale or Badou Jack. I’d like to see Smith get some more seasoning against one of the above mentioned talents before he’s thrown to the wolves. He’s too upright, too stork-like, and too hittable to be put in the ring against seasoned pros at the level of DeGale and Jack. I mean, I wouldn’t want to see Smith thrown into the deep waters right now if I were his promoter. It’s too soon, and I think he could get hurt and have the confidence beaten out of him. Smith needs several bridge opponents to get him closer to the level of DeGale. Going from the likes of Reynoso straight into the winner of the DeGale-Smith fight wouldn’t be fair to Smith.

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