Callum Smith (21-0, 16 KOs) is now officially set to defend his British super middleweight title against mandatory challenger Like Blackledge (22-2-2, 7 KOs) on Dec. 10. He’ll put his belt on the line on the Anthony Joshua-Eric Molina undercard at the Manchester Arena.
Smith, 26, is currently a mandatory challenger for the winner of the James DeGale-Badou Jack title unification, but he’ll take his chances with an interim fight here.
"The WBC have told both fighters (DeGale and Jack) they've got to sign before the (Jan. 14) fight and the winner has to fight Callum Smith," [Eddie] Hearn told ESPN.
This fight against Blackledge will be Smith’s first defense of the British title that he won by knocking out Rocky Fielding last November. Smith has fought three times since then, but none of those fights had the British title on the line.
Smith also mentions that he has no preference of facing either fellow countryman DeGale in a domestic showdown, or Badou Jack out of Floyd Mayweather’s stable.
"It's a win-win for me. If Jack wins it'll probably be in [Las] Vegas, and that's every fighter's dream to fight for a world title in Vegas," Smith said. "But if James wins, which I think he will, then that's a massive domestic fight, and we've seen that the British fans love those events."
Luke Blackledge, 26, is currently riding a 8-fight win streak since getting stopped by the same man Smith demolished for the British title, Rocky Fielding.