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Callum Smith possible for Joshua-Miller card at MSG

Anthony Joshua

By Jeff Aranow: Callum Smith will likely be back inside the ring defending his WBA Super World super middleweight title on June 1 fighting on the undercard of Anthony Joshua vs. Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller on DAZN and Sky Box Office at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn says Smith will likely fight on June 1 on the Joshua-Miller card. If Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) doesn’t fight on that date, then he’ll be back inside the ring on May 17 or May 25 on the Oleksander Usyk vs. Carlos Takam card.

It’s somewhat disappointing that Callum Smith, the best fighter in the super middleweight division at this time, is resigned to fighting on undercards rather than headlining his own card. Hearn’s two options for Callum is to fight either on the Joshua-Miller card or the Usyk-Takam card. Callum needs some additional big wins, and he needs to make more noise on social media and in interviews by trash talking more. Callum is more on the reserved side compared to his brother Liam Smith. Based on Callum’s big win over Groves and capturing the World Boxing Super Series tournament, it is a bit odd that he’s not headlining his own card in Liverpool.

This will be the 28-year-old Smith’s first fight since winning the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament last year on September 28 in stopping WBA 168 lb. champion George Groves in the seventh round at the King Abdullah Sports City, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Hearn says a unification fight between Callum and David Benavidez is possible this year. Benavidez will be facing World Boxing Council super middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell next. The winner of that fight is supposed to defend against WBC mandatory Avni Yildirim, as ordered by the WBC, but Hearn says a unification fight between Callum and the Dirrell-Benavidez contest will supersede that.

“For this year, but not next,” Hearn said to IFL TV about Callum Smith possibly fighting David Benavidez. “There’s talk about Callum boxing on AJ’s undercard [on June 1]. We’re getting a bit of a logjam at the moment. [Kell] Brook, Katie Taylor, Callum Smith, Josh Kelly, Joshua Buatsi, and Tommy Coyle. So we’ve got to sort that out in the next few days. Callum will be there on Saturday [for the Liam Smith vs. Sam Eggington card at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England]. We may have something sorted out by then. But right now, he’s either fighting on May 17th or 25 or June 1st card at Madison Square Garden. It’ll probably be the latter. Callum vs. Benavidez is a good fight. It’ll be Benavidez vs. [Anthony] Dirrell, and the winner has to fight Yildirim. It’ll be a bit of a logjam, but the unification [between Dirrell vs. Benavidez winner against Callum Smith] will supersede that,” Hearn said.

Hearn didn’t say anything about who Callum will be fighting in his first defense of his WBA belt. If Hearn picks out one of the contenders in the World Boxing Association’s top 15 rankings, it’ll be one of these guys that Smith defends against in May or June:

– Fedor Chudinov

– Bilal Akkawy

– David Lemieux

– Zach Parker

– Rocky Fielding

– Vincent Feigenbutz

– Jayde Mitchell

– Erik Bazinyan

– Zac Dunn

– Julio Alamos

– Derrick Webster

– Vladimir Shishkin

– Aidos Yerbossynuly

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