The last time Callum Smith fought on an Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk undercard he couldn’t celebrate his victory.
He froze Lenin Castillo with a single shot of such terrifying power that it was chilling to watch. Castillo was immediately treated by paramedics and taken out of the ring on a stretcher.
“As much as you want to win, that’s the last thing you want to see. Every once in a while we get a bad one in boxing where there’s lasting damage, no one wants to see that,” Smith said. sky sports.
“Forget about the win and everything else, that becomes irrelevant, you just want the fighter to be safe and go home to his family. The next morning she had a message from Castillo. [that he was alright]so that was good and reassuring.
“I say a prayer in the ring before a fight and it’s not to win, it’s just for myself and my opponent’s safety. Boxing is a tough sport and we all have families to go home to.”
Looking back on the fight, Smith knows it was a step in proving that he is a world-class light heavyweight. The former super middleweight world champion lost his WBA title to Mexican superstar Canelo Alvarez and was moving up to 175 pounds to rebuild.
“There were a lot of question marks around me on certain things. How will I do with the new weight? How will I come back from a loss? How will I be under Buddy [McGirt, his new trainer]? I felt like I accomplished all of them,” Smith said.
“I knew it was potentially a tough fight,” he continued. “He had never been stopped. But I felt very, very good at the weight, I felt very strong and landing early was having an effect on him and obviously I landed a good punch that ended the fight.”
Smith answered those questions about himself. He knew that he too was tough enough to move up to light heavyweight. He has boxed in title fights against Alvarez and George Groves, but has never been eliminated as a professional.
In fact, both amateur and professional, there is only one man who has knocked him down: Liam Smith, boxing September 3 live on sky sports. His older brother dropped him with a body shot in combat when they were teenagers.
“My dad kicked it!” Smith laughed.
Callum Smith’s next chance to earn another world title shot comes on August 20 when he boxes Mathieu Bauderlique on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk live on Sky Sports box office.
“[People] I assume I’ve been given an easy touch in a final eliminator, but he’s a good fighter, he’s European champion,” Smith said.
“He went to the Rio Olympics. He got the other bronze [medal]. He has good skills, he has a good amateur pedigree, he has good boxing skills. A bit of a heavy hand when he lets them go. It’s a tough fight. He has my respect, he’s one I’m taking seriously.
“He can handle himself, he’s a good fighter and it’s a great opportunity for him. It’s probably his biggest fight and the stakes are high for him.”
But he added: “If I’m at my best, I can beat anybody in the world at this weight and that includes Bauderlique.”
Smith, a former champion, is now an experienced fighter but still determined to succeed.
“When everything gets difficult, you just need that reason and as long as you have it, you will keep going,” he explained. “You don’t have to love it. You just have to crave results so much that the rest is irrelevant. I’ve always been goal-driven and motivated by achievement and the goal of becoming a two-weight world champion.” is what gets me through.
“I’ve always felt like I want to be a world champion so much that I would chase it and go through anything to get there.
“As long as you want it bad enough, I think the rest is irrelevant, you’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen.
“I know what I’m capable of, I know my goals and I know what I can do. I know I can become a two-weight world champion and that thought of achieving is what drives me and I continue to pursue and believe.” I’m going to get it.
“You have to have something for when the going gets tough. And I still have it.”
Anthony Joshua’s big heavyweight rematch against Oleksandr Usyk is on Saturday, August 20, live on Sky Sports Box Office. Pre-order Usyk vs Joshua 2 now!