Highlight 3 | Issue | Premium | Preview | Nov 18 2019

Preview: Callum Smith has a gorilla in the mist

Box-office bouts are on the horizon for Callum Smith, but only if he can defend his WBA super-middleweight title against John Ryder, writes Paul Wheeler
British boxing
Mark Robinson/Matchroom

AFTER three consecutive fights outside of the UK, Liverpool’s Callum Smith returns home this Saturday (November 23) to defend his WBA super-middleweight crown for the second time. Performing at the M&S Bank Arena on Merseyside, the unbeaten 29-year-old takes on his mandatory challenger, countryman and Matchroom Boxing teammate, John Ryder.

“It’s good to be back in Liverpool,” stated Smith. “I said when I turned professional that I was good enough to win a world title and bring it home to the city. Now this is my chance to perform in front of my own fans.

“I thought that winning a world title was the top of the mountain but when I won it I realised it wasn’t. There’s a lot more boxes I want to tick and there’s talk of a massive 2020 for me. All of that disappears if I slip up on November 23, so I’m fully motivated. I worked hard to become a world champion and I’m going to work even harder to keep it. I’m number one in the world for a reason and the best version of me beats every super-middleweight on the planet – including John Ryder.”

John Ryder in the gym (Mark Robinson/Matchroom)


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