Hassan N’Dam: ‘This will not be an easy fight for Callum Smith. I will win’
Hassan N’Dam, the former WBO middleweight titleholder, knew he would be fighting as an underdog in New York City in June, but he thought it would be against former unified middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin in the latter’s DAZN debut. Instead Golovkin’s team chose to take on the lesser known Steve Rolls on June 8 and that’s when Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn swooped in and offered N’Dam the opportunity to challenge Ring and WBA super middleweight titleholder Callum Smith in the co-feature to the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz heavyweight title bout at Madison Square Garden this Saturday.
“This is a great opportunity and I will make the best of it,” N’Dam told The Ring at Tuesday’s open workout inside New York City’s financial center. “I don’t know why Golovkin avoids me. This is the second time he could have fought me and said no. It’s okay because he wants to fight Canelo, but if I beat Callum Smith, I will fight Canelo.”
N’Dam, who is rated No. 9 by The Ring at 160 pounds, comes in as a big underdog against the unbeaten Smith, whose name has also been floated as a future opponent for Canelo.
“I am always the underdog in every fight, this is not new for me,” N’Dam said. “I am experienced and I can deal with all styles, and I am ready for Smith. I was preparing hard for Golovkin, so I am ready for anyone and I will win on Saturday.”
N’Dam refused to say which fighter he feels is more beatable, Golovkin or Smith, but he believes the Englishman has flaws that he can exploit.
“Callum Smith is a very good fighter and very tall, but he never faced anyone like Hassan N’Dam,” said the challenger. “He has a good jab and I have a good jab. He has a good hook and a good right hand and so do I. I am faster than he is and on Saturday he will be surprised. He won’t be able to handle my speed, I believe that will be the difference. This is a very important fight for my career. I will win and fight Canelo next. I was always behind GGG and (Jermall) Charlo to fight Canelo, but this is the fastest way to get Canelo.”
N’Dam has experience in spoiling parties as evidenced by his majority decision upset win over Martin Murray last December in Manchester. The 35-year-old N’Dam, who was having his first bout since being stopped by Ryota Morata in October 2017, picked himself back up from a fourth-round knockdown to secure victory and inject a new lease of life into his career.
The 29-year-old Smith will enter the bout sporting a four-inch-height advantage and he is expected to put a shellacking on the French Cameroonian in his U.S. debut.
“In my career, I always fought champions and never said no to a challenge,” N’Dam explains. “This will not be an easy fight for Smith. If I am the Hassan N’Dam that I was in the gym every day in training, then I will win.”
N’Dam said he has not spent too much time thinking about whether he can handle the power of the 168-pound Smith.
“I won’t know how I will take the power until he hits me,” N’Dam said. “I have to take his power and he has to take my speed. We will see who’s in trouble.”