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Callum Smith: ‘I’ve got a lot to lose. And I don’t want to lose it yet’

Callum Smith
Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Callum Smith on his BBBoC award and lining up John Ryder next

IT has been a good week. It was good to win the British Boxing Board of Control fighter of the year award. It’s a good award to win, I’ve seen a lot of good fighters win it previously so it’s good to get recognition for the year I’ve had. I’ve had a good year, become world champion and it’s always good to get a fight announced (John Ryder on November 23 in Liverpool) so it’s been a good week.

It was massive to beat George Groves and even if I hadn’t got that award at the weekend, it was still a brilliant year for me, to become world champion, to finally achieve it against Groves and perform the way I did.

When the Board awards came around I kind of wondered whether I’d get it or not, because other fighters have had good years and with it being nearly a year ago I didn’t know whether it would be fresh in the memory. I was pleased to win.

It was nice for Joe Gallagher to get recognition as well (as the Boxing News trainer of the year). I had my debut with him, I’ve been with him right the way through. I’ve always had a good relationship with Joe, we gel together, we work well together and we’ve had a lot of success together.

It’s been over two years since I last fought in Liverpool. It’s been a while. When I turned professional I said I wanted to bring a world title back to the city, whether it was to win it in the city or defend it there. I didn’t win it there but now I’m getting the chance to defend it in front of my own fans which is always good. My last few fights have all been abroad, so I’d have been happy just fighting in England never mind Liverpool.

Callum Smith
Callum Smith boxed Hassan N’Dam in New York last time out Action Images/Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

John Ryder has come off a few good wins and will probably fancy his chances. But I said at the press conference I’m in good form myself, coming off two big performances. I believe I’m the number one in the world for a reason and I believe I’ll beat anyone in the world at super-middle and that includes John Ryder. I want to have massive fights in 2020 and if I’m good enough to be involved in those fights then I should be good enough to come through John Ryder.

There’s three other champions. I watched the David Benavidez fight at the weekend. He’s a good fighter but I believe I beat him, as well as Caleb Plant and Billy Joe Saunders. I’d bite your hand off for any one of those fights. You’ve obviously got the two big names at middleweight who are threatening to step up in Golovkin and Canelo. If they can happen then of course I’d jump at them as well. But I’m in a good division, there are a lot of big names and they’re the fights I want in 2020.

A lot of it’s timing and different promoters and stuff, but if some are tied up then hopefully one will be available. I’ve got a good team and the right team to secure those fights.

Providing Matchroom delivered, which I know they can, then I’m happy with where I am and I always have been. I’m happy that provided I keep winning I will get the fights that I want and I know I will achieve what I believe I’m capable of achieving.

I’ve got a lot to lose and I don’t want to lose it yet. John Ryder’s got me 100 percent focused.

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