Saturday, October 16, 2021  |


Callum Smith scores scary second-round knockout of Lenin Castillo

Callum Smith brutally stopped Lenin Castillo in two rounds. Picture By EDDIE KEOGH / Matchroom Boxing

LONDON – Former Ring Magazine super middleweight champion Callum Smith made a successful and explosive debut at light heavyweight by knocking out the Dominican Republic’s Lenin Castillo in two rounds at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The official time was 0:55.

Smith, who still maintains a No. 3 rating by The Ring at 168 pounds, was coming off a wide points loss to pound-for-pound star Canelo Alvarez in December and was in no mood to hang around. The home fighter targeted the body in Round 1, but it was a brutal straight right hand to the chin that knocked the visitor out cold upon impact.

Callum Smith knocks out Lenin Castillo. Picture by EDDIE KEOGH / Matchroom Boxing

The count was waved, paramedics were immediately requested, oxygen was administered and Castillo was stretchered from the ring. The 33-year-old native of the Dominican Republic was taken straight to a hospital where he was reportedly responsive.

The home crowd showed class in applauding the stricken fighter’s effort and we must hope and pray that he makes a full recovery.

The ex-champion looked visibly concerned before leaving the ring.

At 6-foot-3, and with a very large frame, Smith is built for light heavyweight and certainly won’t need to grow into the division. However, achieving significant success won’t – and certainly shouldn’t be – a walk in the park. The reigning titleholders are Artur Beterbiev (IBF/WBC), Dmitry Bivol (WBA) and Joe Smith Jr. (WBO), who would all present the Liverpool man with a variety of different challenges.

Smith (28-1, 20 KOs), 31, told this reporter during fight week that he would be more than willing to face any of the 175-pound elite, providing his performance against Castillo was up to par. It’s therefore likely that the always ambitious Smith will be chasing up a big fight very soon.

Castillo falls to 21-4-1 (16 KOs).


Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing


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