Former world super middleweight champion (up to 76.2 kg), and now the official contender for the WBC light heavyweight title (up to 79.4 kg), Briton Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) gave
interview for the YouTube channel of the Matchroom promotion company.
Callum spoke about his future opponent, Pole Pavel Stepin (18-0-1, 12 KOs), whose fight is scheduled for March 11 in Liverpool (England). The ex-champion also spoke about the coveted fight against the unified champion from Canada Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) and possible fights Alvarez – Ryder and Bivol – Buatsi.
– Opposite your corner is a fighter with a record of 18-0. Tell the fans what you know about him and what kind of fight are you looking forward to?
– He is a good fighter. I expect a good fight. He is invincible, you need to respect that. I was invincible too, and he must have this feeling of invincibility when you believe that no one in the world can beat you. This is a big opportunity for him. If he beats me, he will put himself in my position. If I lose, I’ll lose my position and I’m next in line for a title fight. I have to be the best version of myself. And as I’ve been saying for a long time, if I’m at my best, I believe I can beat anyone in the world, including the March 11th fighter.
– As you said, you are next in line for Beterbiev. He had a great fight with Anthony Yarde. I really want to know what were your thoughts when you watched it and what did you get from that fight?
“Good fight, good spectacular fight, two big punchers. I think Yard showed good endurance and challenged him. It seemed that he came out strong before the finish line. Beterbiev slowed down a bit. He is dangerous in the first half, he is dangerous all 12 rounds. He is a big puncher. He is a very good fighter. A fighter that I respect, that I appreciate, but I believe that I can beat him.
That’s what my next question is about. You have always had faith in yourself. Why do you believe that you are the one who will defeat Beterbiev?
“I just think styles make fights. He is 38. In the fight with Yard, he probably added more missed punches, slowed down a bit. I think he started to feel the pace a little worse. Maybe it has something to do with the fight against Yard. As a pro, he has fallen twice already, and as I said earlier, now I perform better, I hit hard. I just think that stylistically I will deliver my punches. I believe I can get rid of it. But I would like to think about it neutrally. It’s an expected fight if I go out and do the right thing. Interest should increase even more by the summer, but I just believe that now is my time to become a world champion. If not now, then never. I’m looking forward to. I believe I will end 2023 as a light heavyweight champion.
Fight Beterbiev – Smith. Champion’s promoter about the venue of the fight
“I’ll ask you about some more fights. Looks like John Ryder will be coming out in a big fight against Canelo Alvarez in Mexico. You shared the ring with both. How do you see their fight going and what are the keys to John Ryder’s success in this fight?
Every fight is stylistically different. John has a unique style in itself. He is very short for a super-middleweight, compact southpaw and it will be interesting to see how Canelo fights him. He had fights with Kirkland, Lara and other southpaws, but they worked more on the back foot. It will be interesting how John will use his opportunity to pay tribute. He has been at the level for a long time, he had ups and downs, but he got out. People want to see such fighters. He needs to get a big fight and a good fee. So I wish him all the best.
– Dmitry Bivol is also the fighter who, I’m sure, is on your radar. Like you, he wants to fight Artur Beterbiev for all the regalia. He needs to fight someone, and it is assumed that Joshua Buatsi can put forward his candidacy. If this fight takes place, how do you see it going?
– This is a good fight. I think there are a lot of questions for Joshua Buatsi in terms of the level of his opposition. I think a lot depends on what Dmitry Bivol will be like. He fought very well against Canelo and Gilberto Ramirez. This version of Dmitry Bivol will be very, very difficult to defeat. But before there was such an opponent as Craig Richards. And from that fight, we can say that he is completely victorious. So a lot depends on how motivated Bivol is to go down a notch and fight Joshua Buatsi when ideally he wants to fight Canelo Alvarez and Artur Beterbiev. I think this fight depends more on what Bivol is like. Once again, Buatsi is a good fighter. Good luck to him. He’s British and this is the kind of fight you want to see.