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Callum Smith electric in first-round stoppage of Hadillah Mohoumadi

02
Apr

British super middleweight contender Callum Smith annexed the European title and moved one step closer to a world title shot by sensationally blasting out Hadillah Mohoumadi in one round in Liverpool, England, on Saturday. The official time was 1:41.

Smith, who is rated No. 8 by THE RING at 168 pounds, became the first fighter to stop the durable Frenchman, who made the mistake of attacking with abandon at the opening bell. He left a gap and was unable to recover from a perfectly-timed left hook counter from Smith, who punished him mercilessly for his oversight.

The bout was halted by the referee when a semi-conscious Mohoumadi absorbed a crushing series of power shots that left him draped over the top rope.

“I prepared for a tough fight,” said Smith when interviewed by Sky Sports in the U.K. “But my first counterpunch hurt him and I am a good finisher. I do believe I can hurt anyone in the world and I’m improving all the time.”

The 25-year-old Smith is the WBC No. 1 contender at 168 pounds and therefore has crosshairs locked on Swedish titleholder Badou Jack. The only sticking point with that plan, however, could be countryman and IBF beltholder James DeGale metaphorically beating him to the punch.

DeGale is scheduled to fight Rogelio Medina on April 30 in Washington, D.C., with Jack facing former world titleholder Lucian Bute in the main event. If, as expected, DeGale and Jack prevail, a proposed unification bout between the pair would supersede Jack’s mandatory assignment and leave Smith out in the cold.

“Nobody can take the number one spot from Callum Smith,” countered Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn. “If DeGale and Jack want to unify the title then we only have to wait an extra 90 days. Callum Smith is the real deal and will dominate the super middleweight division for years to come.”

The unbeaten Smith (19-0, 14 KOs) was dazzling tonight and is a major threat to any 168-pound fighter in the world.

* * *

Liverpool puncher Rocky Fielding (22-1, 12 KOs) survived several scares to post a 12-round split decision over Christopher Rebrasse at super middleweight. Two judges scored the bout 114-113 for Fielding with the third preferring the Frenchman at 115-113.

Fielding was dropped in Round 2 by a series of rights to the head and buzzed on several occasions during the first half of the contest. The affable 28-year-old looked positively fragile early but gritted his teeth down the stretch to close the gap and ultimately prevail by the narrowest of margins.

This was Fielding’s first bout since he lost his unbeaten record to Smith, who stopped him inside a round last November.

Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing

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