Callum Smith moving to 175, says Eddie Hearn
By Jeff Aronow: Eddie Hearn states that Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith will be moving up to light heavyweight after his recent loss to Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez on December 19th.
Hearn says the former WBA super middleweight champion Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) will be looking to become a two-division world champion, and he could face Joshua Buatsi for a vacant title at 175 in the next twelve months.
Smith, 30, can still make weight at 168, says Hearn, but he feels it’s a better option for him to go up to 175 to take on all the name guys in that division.
Options for Callum Smith at 175:
- Artur Beterbiev
- Dimitry Bivol
- Gilberto Ramirez
- Joe Smith Jr
- Joshua Buatsi
- Craig Richards
Hearn on Callum Smith moving to 175
“I think you’re going to see Callum Smith move up to 175 pounds,” said Edie Hearn to IFL TV. “He’s been at 168 for a long time.
“He didn’t struggle to make the weight [for the Canelo Alvarez fight]. He’s been a huge 168 and always has been. I think after a while, you look at the opportunities there now, he’s not going to look into a fight against Billy Joe Saunders now, especially if Billy Joe gets the Canelo fight,” said Hearn.
If Callum stays at 168, he will find himself locked out of any substantial fights against world champions for a while. IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Plant and WBO champ Billy Joe Saunders wouldn’t want to take on Smith, given that they’re both waiting for a payday fight against Canelo Alvarez.
Callum Smith has too many big things ahead of him to sit and wait around for a couple of years for the smoke to clear from Canelo unifying the 168lb division.
Also, if Canelo does unify the division, he’s not going to want to fight Smith.
So if Smith stayed at 168, he wouldn’t be given a title shot for a long time if Canelo elects to hold onto the four titles if he’s successful in becoming the undisputed hampion.
Smith didn’t do that badly in his 12 round unanimous decision defeat to Alvarez. The judges scored it 117-111, 119-109, and 119-109. If Smith weren’t so wiped out from making the 168-lb limit, he would have done a better job.
Smith to try and become a 2-weight world champion
“I just think he needs to move to 175 and become a two-weight world champion,” said Hearn about Smith. “He’s had an amazing career, he’s had a great run, he’s made a lot of money.
“But he still has got challenges that he wants to overcome, and still has goals to achieve. I would love to see him move up to what’s an amazing 175 division,” said Hearn of Callum.
If Smith does move up to 175, he should stay away from IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev and WBA champ Dimitry Bivol until he’s acclimated to the division.
Those guys are on another level to the fighters Smith has been facing, including Canelo Alvarez.
The Mexican star knew better than to try and mix it up with those two powerful Russian fighters when he moved up to 175 to win a title in 2019.
Canelo showed his respect for Beterbiev and Bivol by avoiding them both, and instead, going after Sergey Kovalev.
Smith should focus on trying to land a fight against WBA ‘regular’ light heavyweight champion Jean Pascal once he feels comfortable at the weight.
Pascal will still be a hard fight for Callum, as he’s got a better engine than Canelo, throws more punches, and hits just as hard. If Smith wants to fight in the light heavyweight division, he’s going to need to stay off the ropes.
Great options at light heavyweight for Callum
“Obviously, domestically, we’ve got Buatsi, Yarde, and Arthur, and Callum Johnson, and an amazing win by Craig Richards as well,” said Hearn. But beyond that, you’ve got Bivol, Beterbiev, Gilberto Ramirez, you’ve got Joe Smith.
“There are so many great fights and graduations for the domestic guys. Maybe Callum Smith vs. Buatsi for a world title in 12 months.
“But certainly, Callum would look at those champions right now and say, ‘That’s what I need to start working on right now to try and become a two-weight world champion,” said Hearn.
It would be a good idea for Smith to start with the domestic level 175-pounders before moving up to take on the talented guys.
Great choices for Smith to get acclimated to division
- Joshua Buatsi
- Craig Richards
- Lyndon Arthur
- Anthony Yarde
- Callum Johnson
- Dillian Whyte could fight on Canelo Alvarez’s undercard in September
- Announced: Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk on September 25th at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- De La Hoya stirring up trouble between Canelo & Eddie Hearn
- Eddie Hearn says Fury vs. Wilder 3 would have been a financial disaster