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Callum Smith Becomes WBC Number 1 Contender In New Light-Heavyweight Ranking

Artur Beterbiev, Callum Smith boxing photo

By Daniele D’Alessio: According to Michael Benson, Callum “Mundo” Smith (28-1, 20 KOs) is now the WBC’s number 1 contender in their new light-heavyweight rankings. The current WBC champion is Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) who also holds the IBF title.

Since losing his WBA super-middleweight title to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez (57-1-2, 39 KOs) in 2020, Smith has made the move up to light-heavyweight and defeated Lenin Castillo (21-4-1, 16 KOs) back in September.

At 6 foot 3, Mundo has always been a massive super middleweight and struggled to make the weight. He is now arguably in his ideal weight division where he may not have to drain himself to qualify on the scale.

As the WBC’s number 1 contender it is possible that Smith could become mandatory to face Beterbiev later in the year.

In contrast to the Liverpudlian, the hard-hitting Russian has a perfect record of 17 wins all coming by knockout.

Beterbiev was an esteemed amateur where he won gold at the 2009 world championships and got to the quarter-final of the 2012 Olympic Games.

Artur Beterbiev, Callum Smith boxing photo

Now as a professional he has continued to show his boxing prowess and is considered by Ring Magazine as the best light-heavyweight in the world.

With his reputation growing worldwide, there is still speculation that he could face Mexican pound-for-pound king Canelo next.

In any case, a fight against Smith would be an interesting proposition for Beterbiev. Mundo would be one of the tallest fighters the Russian has faced as a professional and if the fight takes place in the UK this could expose him to a hostile environment.

All of Beterbiev’s fights have been in America, Canada, and Russia so a fight against Smith in England would allow him to conquer new territory and win new fans.

Time will tell whether Smith becomes mandatory to face Beterbiev, regardless, this would be an interesting spectacle for boxing.

Could the Russian do better than Alvarez by knocking Smith out? Or could the powerful Liverpudlian shock the world by becoming the first man to defeat Beterbiev?

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