Callum Smith Could Face World-Ranked Polish Fighter Before Beterbiev Chance
Former world super middleweight champion, Liverpool’s Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) will return to the ring on March 11 at Liverpool’s 9,000-capacity M&S Bank Arena (formerly Echo Arena) live on DAZN.
NoSmokeBoxing has learnt that one option for Smith is Poland’s unbeaten, world-ranked contender Pawel Stepien (18-0-1, 12 KOs). Stepien is ranked in 3 governing bodies: #7 with the IBF, and #15 with both the WBA and the WBO.
Stepien has notable decision wins over Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna and Marek Matyja. Maderna upset prospect Karol Itauma on the Beterbiev-Yarde undercard whilst Matyja gave Craig Richards a competitive fight early, when they met in Oct 2021, before being stopped in the sixth round.
Smith is the WBC’s mandatory challenger at 175 and told Sky Sports that he intends to push for his shot at the unified light heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) for Beterbiev’s next fight.”I’ve done my part. I’ve become mandatory so I can sit and wait and fight for three of the belts.”
The Liverpudlian stopped France’s WBC #2 Mathieu Bauderlique in a final eliminator on the Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard to earn his shot.
Smith is confident that, despite being a sizeable underdog, he can pull off the upset. “I’ve seen other fighters hurt him and put him over, I fully believe I can. I’m in my peak years now and the time to beat him is now.”
Callum Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn has previously told Boxing Social that he wants to stage a fight between Mundo and Beterbiev at the 53,000-capacity Anfield Stadium in Liverpool.
However, Hearn may have to win a purse bid to take the fight to Anfield or to stage it on DAZN at all. Beterbiev’s promoter Bob Arum may want to place that fight in Canada or the United States and with a 70-30 split in favour of the Canadian-Russian at purse bids, it will be easier for them to do so.
On the undercard, Britain’s Robbie Davies Jr (23-3, 15 KOs) and Australia’s Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) will meet in a super lightweight contest. Leading prospect, 21-year-old Californian Diego Pacheco (17-0, 14 KOs) will make his UK debut against fan favourite, Little Lever’s Jack Cullen (21-3-1, 9 KOs).
Who is Callum Smith fighting next?
NoSmokeBoxing has learnt that one option for Smith is Poland’s unbeaten, world-ranked contender Pawel Stepien (18-0-1, 12 KOs)