Callum Smith: ‘My next fight is going to be for the world title’
Unbeaten British boxer-puncher Callum Smith says that he is ready to fight any super middleweight in the world for the vacant WBC crown.
Smith, who is rated No. 6 by THE RING at 168 pounds, is the mandatory challenger for that belt which, until recently, was held by Las Vegas-based Swede, Badou Jack. On Saturday, Jack and IBF counterpart James DeGale fought to a thrilling draw in Brooklyn, after which Jack announced his intentions to move to light heavyweight. He lived up to that promise and officially vacated the WBC belt on Wednesday.
“I said before the (Jack-DeGale) fight that I was in a good position and that’s still the case,” insisted Smith. “My next fight is going to be for the world title (and) that hasn’t changed.
“A draw or a Jack win was always going to create an interesting scenario but the only thing I care about is fighting for the title. It’s never been Badou Jack or James DeGale that I want to fight; it’s the world title that I want. It doesn’t matter to me who it is. (Former WBC titlist) Anthony Dirrell is the next in line and if it’s him, then great – let’s do it.”
Smith (22-0, 17 knockouts) landed the mandatory position in April, after destroying Hadillah Mohoumadi in one round. The 26-year-old had hoped to land his title shot immediately but the unification bout between DeGale and Jack superseded his No.1 position. During the interim, Smith reeled off three more stoppage victories in 2016.
He said, “If I’d boxed for (the world title) straight after beating Mohoumadi, people would have said I was perfectly prepared. But just because I’ve had a few fights down a level, doesn’t mean I’ve not got better.
“I’ve been in camp with my brothers (Paul, Stephen and Liam) fighting for world titles, as well as Anthony Crolla and Scott Quigg. I’ve had worse nerves watching them than (in) any of my own fights. As stupid as it sounds, I feel like I’ve been there before. I’ve soaked it all up because I thought that I was going to fight for a world title when I turned pro. When it comes around, it’s not going to be a big shock for me.”
Information courtesy of a press release issued by Matchroom Boxing
Tom Gray is a UK Correspondent/ Editor for RingTV.com and a member of THE RING ratings panel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Gray_Boxing.
Struggling to locate a copy of RING magazine? Try here or…
You can subscribe to the print and digital editions of RING magazine by clicking the banner or here. You can also order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page. On the cover this month: the recently retired all-time great Bernard Hopkins.