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Buddy McGirt confident Callum Smith can claim light heavyweight title

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Smith hasn’t seen action since his December loss to Canelo Alvarez

M and S Bank Arena Boxing Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

We haven’t seen hide nor hair of former super middleweight champion Callum Smith since “Mundo” suffered his first-ever professional loss to Canelo Alvarez last December, but that doesn’t mean he’s been sitting idle. Smith confirmed a partnership with new trainer Buddy McGirt earlier this week, and McGirt has faith in his charge’s abilities and potential to compete at light heavyweight.

“He can punch, but there is more to him than punch power. He has to gain confidence in his other skills.

“I know that he will be a champion again.”

“It’s a very tough division, a hot division,” said McGirt.

“If he has a couple of fights to get comfortable at the weight, I don’t see anyone to stop him becoming a champion.”

The 6’3” Smith (27-1, 19 KO) has long appeared due for a move up to 175, and his shaky performances against both John Ryder and the aforementioned Canelo look like as good a reason to try something new. He’s still reasonably young at 31 and doesn’t have too much mileage on him, so he should have several more good years in the game.

I definitely don’t see him toppling the likes of Artur Beterbiev or Dmitry Bivol, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing whether McGirt can unearth the obvious potential that, even with his championship experience, Smith has yet to tap into.