What Does the Future Hold for Callum Smith?
Given his unbeaten 25-bout professional boxing career, few people would not back Callum Smith to carry on winning. Of course, as anyone who follows sports betting tips carefully will know, the higher you move up the international rankings as a boxer, the tougher it becomes. Does Smith have what it will take to become a true champion and unify the various belts in his chosen division, super-middleweight? Some think he can do so and may even move up a weight division in future. What does Smith's past record tell us about him and what does the future hold?
Smith's Amateur Career
Born in 1990, Smith began boxing at a young age. His brothers - Liam, Paul and Stephen - are all boxers, too. The youngest of the siblings, Callum fought in around his home city of Liverpool before going on to win the Great Britain welterweight title in 2010. He was subsequently chosen to represent his country at that year's Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. He took the silver medal.
In 2012, Smith switched divisions to light heavyweight in a bid to make into the team for the London Olympic Games. He was not successful, however, following a loss to an Azerbaijani fighter, one of his few disappointments in the ring. After this, Smith decided there was no future for him in the amateur sport and he followed in his brothers' footsteps, turning professional later that year.
Smith's Professional Boxing Highlights
With 25 straight wins to his name, few modern boxers can match the professional boxing career of the man from Liverpool. In 2013, his first major success occurred when he beat Patrick Mendy to take the vacant super-middleweight title in England. Just a month later he took the international WBC super-middleweight title in a bout against Ruben Eduardo Acosta.
By 2017, Smith had become one of the first boxers to compete for the World Boxing Super Series title. As a WBC contender, Smith had to fight his way to the top, seeing off some top-quality opponents on the way. He fought the Swedish boxer Erik Skoglund at first in the super-middleweight quarter-final. This bout went the distance over 12 rounds but Smith won it by a unanimous decision.
In the semi-final, he faced the dangerous fighter, Nieky Holzken, in a bout that was staged in Nuremburg. Smith also won this by a unanimous decision of the judges after the twelfth round. Consequently, Smith fought the British boxer George Groves in Saudi Arabia in the final, a fight he won by knockout to take the title.
A Rising Star
Considered now by many to be a rising star of the world of boxing, Smith's promoter, Eddie Hearn, announced that the fighter's next bout was likely to be staged in the United States. Although Smith knocked out the Mexican fighter, Abraham Fernandez in Carson, California, back in 2014, he has otherwise never been booked to fight in America. The newly crowned WBA champion will probably now defend his title in a double-header that is to be arranged in the summer.
Hearn explained that since no other British fighter is operating at the same level as Smith in his weight-division at the moment, it is unlikely for the Liverpudlian to fight in the UK for the foreseeable future. Instead, Hearn is said to prefer the option to place Smith's next bout on the same card as Oleksander Usyk, another World Boxing Super Series winner, like Smith. Both have similar pedigrees and attract similar interest from the betting public. As such, the double-header idea could become mouth-watering depending on the opponent Hearn is able to attract to take on the champion. Alternatively, Smith may shift to the light-heavyweight division and contest the WBO title with Sergey Kovalev.
Despite the rumours, no proposal has yet to be finalised at the moment. Some say that Smith will next be boxing in Chicago while others have suggested a showdown in New York City is more likely. Either way, boxing fans will hardly be able to contain their excitement as a rising star of British boxing takes to the ring as one of the most powerful fighters of his generation. It is only, perhaps, Anthony Joshua, the world heavyweight title holder, who garners more affection in the eyes of the British sporting public. That said, a triumph in the United States could make Smith a household name all over the globe.