Callum Smith blows away Rocky Fielding in one round
The unbeaten Callum Smith is now the undisputed super middleweight king of Liverpool, England, and British champion, following a brutal first-round stoppage of local rival Rocky Fielding on Saturday and will move forth to a world title shot in 2016.
Smith, who is rated No. 10 by THE RING at super middleweight, floored Fielding in the opening seconds with a straight right hand and the writing was on the wall. The stricken fighter gallantly roared back but a sharp left hook sent him down again. Smith followed up with a savage attack and the referee halted the slaughter as Fielding hit the deck for a third time.
The official time was 2:45.
“We had a shootout and that’s what the British public wanted,” said Smith when interviewed by Sky Sports in the U.K. “I knew I was the better fighter and I just needed the chance to prove it. I think I did that tonight, although I would be a liar if I said I thought I could do it in one round.”
At 6ft 3, with reliable punching power and solid skills, Smith should provide a stern test for any super middleweight on the world scene. Since turning professional, the 25-year olds’ reputation has soared and many within U.K boxing circles are convinced that he will claim world honors. Time will tell, but he made a real statement under pressure tonight.
All four Smith brothers (Paul, Stephen and Liam are the others) have now annexed Lonsdale belts in their respective weight classes, which is a record unlikely to ever be beaten.
Fielding has the weaponry to bounce back although he will undoubtedly require a period of convalescing following his first defeat. The 28-year old does carry decent punch power and he has plenty of time to improve in other areas under the tutelage of under rated trainer Oliver Harrison.
Former two-weight world titleholder Ricky Burns labored his way to an 11th-round stoppage of Australian Josh King at lightweight. The contest was devoid of any worthwhile action and got scrappy on several occasions, although Burns always appeared to be in command. The Scotsman was guilty of smothering his own work on the inside but frequently found a terrific left hook to the body which began to take a toll. That very shot punctuated a combination at mid-ring in the 11th and the visitor took a knee while the referee counted him out.
The fight of the night was a thunderous collision for the British lightweight title, which saw champion Scott Cardle retain the Lonsdale belt with a 12th-round stoppage of Sean Dodd. Both men traded fire in a quality battle and the crowd were in uproar throughout. Cardle got the better of the early sessions but the habitually tenacious Dodd rallied brilliantly in the middle rounds and looked capable of springing the upset. The defending champion finally broke through in the closing frame and what was arguably a premature stoppage almost guarantees an immediate rematch between the pair.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing