Callum Smith will be moving to 175 in 2021 says Hearn
By Charles Brun: Eddie Hearn says it’s now definite that former WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith will be moving up to 175 in 2021 to campaign as a light heavyweight after suffering a loss to Canelo Alvarez.
Smith (27-1, 19 KOs) doesn’t have a fight on tap for his first match at 175, but it’s believed he’ll be brought along slowly by his Matchroom boss Hearn to ensure him his best chance for success.
Like many fighters who make a hasty knee-jerk reaction after losing, Smith is moving up in weight with the belief that it’ll be the answer to his problems.
175 is a tough division, especially when you tangle with dangerous fighters like Artur Beterbiev, Joe Smith Jr, and Dimitry Bivol.
Callum may find out he’s no better off at 175 than he was at 168, which could result in him returning to this former weight class shortly.
Smith has underperformed in the last two fights
This move by the 30-year-old Callum was made after back-to-back lackluster performances against Canelo on December 19th and John Ryder in November 2019.
Although Callum only lost the fight against Canelo, many in the boxing world believe he deserved a defeat against ‘Gorilla’ Ryder. The move up in weight by Smith is being made with the hopes that he’ll be stronger in the 175-lb weight class and show more power.
Against Canelo, Smith spent virtually the entire fight with his back resting against the ropes, letting the Mexican star tee off on him. Fighting like that suggests that Smith has a ring IQ problem rather than an issue with his weight.
For Smth to be successful at 175, he’s got to stay in the center of the ring and stay off the ropes at all times. He’s not going to last long as a top-tier fighter at light heavyweight against the elite-level fighters in the division if he chooses to compete like a sparring partner.
Hearn hasn’t said yet who he plans on matching Callum against in his first fight in the 175lb division to get him acclimated. These would be excellent options for Callum to be properly initiated to the weight class:
- Sullivan Barrera
- Blake Caparello
- Jesse Hart
- Vyacheslav Shabranskyy
- Anthony Yarde
- Badou Jack
- Lyndon Arthur
- Marcus Browne
Smith, 6’2″, has got to be able to beat fighters at this level for him to have a chance of competing with the best in the division. If Smith struggles against this level of light heavyweights, he needs to return to the 168-lb division as soon as possible.
There’s no point in Smith staying at 175 for one to three years if he doesn’t possess the boxing skills, chin, or enough power to compete against top 10 level opposition.
We know that Callum is a big puncher at 168, but it’s questionable whether his power will carry up with him at 175.
Fighters like Beterbiev punch with major power effortlessly, and he doesn’t need to wind up and put his entire body into his shots the way Callum typically does.
Hearn could give Callum a tough test right from the start by matching him against Joshua Buatsi in a sink or swim type of fight, which would save him a lot of time. If Smith does well against Buatsi, you could say he has a future at 175.
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