Callum Smith expects his next fight, which will be his first super middleweight title defense, to be finalized in the next few weeks, and he’s confident that he can beat anyone put against him.
“I think it will be confirmed within the next couple of weeks. Hopefully that’s the plan, to get something out pretty soon. But I’m back in the gym and enjoying training again, and looking forward to getting back in there. ... I believe I’m the best in the world, and I can beat anyone in the division. Whoever it is, I’m confident that I’ll have the beating of them.”
Smith (25-0, 18 KO) won the World Boxing Super Series tournament at 168 pounds, beating Erik Skoglund, Nieky Holzken, and then George Groves in the final from Saudi Arabia in September.
The 28-year-old Smith hoped to have his next fight at Anfield, the home ground of Liverpool FC, but that looks unlikely for the time being. Eventually, there may be a big fight worth putting in the stadium, but right now that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards. 168 is a good division with a lot of talent, but doesn’t have really have big names for a fight of that magnitude.
If you want to be optimistic, the hope is that Smith could unify with someone like Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez or Caleb Plant, fellow titleholders. But Ramirez said after his last fight that he plans to move up to 175, and he’s with Top Rank, anyway. Plant, who just won his belt, is with PBC. All of this makes American TV a little difficult to negotiate, since Smith is with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing.
More realistically, he’ll probably face someone ranked by the WBA, and countryman John Ryder (27-4, 15 KO) is not only ranked No. 1 at the moment, but he’s a fellow Matchroom fighter. Fedor Chudinov, Bilal Akkawy, and Zach Parker are all ranked in the top five, as well.