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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / If I Were a Boxing Matchmaker: Callum Smith

If I Were a Boxing Matchmaker: Callum Smith

If I ran the show
Publish Date: 08/04/2019
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Howdy folks. Today I’d like to mull over some potential matchups for a man on the move.

Callum “Mundo” Smith 26-0 (19 KOs)

Callum Smith is becoming a hot commodity in the boxing world, good for him. He seems to be a modest young man and it’s always nice to see guys like this get some recognition without having to cause a big scene and talk a bunch of nonsense. What I’ve heard from him is rational and fans like us appreciate honesty and guys who don’t mind who they step in the ring with.

The last interview I heard from Smith is that he would of course like to take a fight with Canelo Alvarez, but he is not going to wait around for him. Great answer, because he shouldn’t. Although that could be a very tough challenge for both men and certainly produce some big money, it seems like it might linger for a little while longer. Callum has many options that would be challenging and would produce some fireworks. The number one aspect of sales and marketing for him is his power. Well, and the fact that he’s British. British fans are the best. They are loyal fans that are certainly helping to build his brand.

Callum is not just power though, he is a skilled boxer with long arms, good height and size, who also has good technical ability. He throws crisp punches and extends his punches all the way through, which is a good thing for anybody, especially when you’re tall. Just like I tell the boxers that I train who seem to have some power, you need to throw through the target, not at it. Smith seems to do exactly that. I like this young man, but I’m not completely sold on him being able to defeat some of the elite boxers in the world. He has a chance, but there are certain things that I don’t like when I watch him that need some fine tuning. One is his movement, which there isn’t much to be had. He is kind of stiff and doesn’t move his head much, however he does move his legs a little more, especially when he backs up to counter. He is also kind of slow but makes up for it with accuracy.

Let’s try and take advantage of his marketability and find the best options for him right now.

#1 Matchup: Billy Joe Saunders 28-0 (13 KOs)

Oh boy, what can I say about Mister Billy Joe. You like him, but you hate him. Saunders is enjoyable to watch inside the ring, but he is just a hot mess when listening to how he is outside of the ring. In most cases I would say guys like him don’t really deserve big fights like this and that may be fair for us to believe, and I wouldn’t argue against it. However, Saunders is still a very good boxer who can matchup well against many top middleweights and super middleweights in the world.

There are a couple of legitimate reasons to make this match happen now. One is that they are both British, which means that this will gather a large crowd in the U.K. The second is that it is a good styles matchup with both men having two totally different approaches and attributes. Billy Joe is a quick-handed boxer-mover with decent punching power. Callum is a boxer-puncher with minimal movement but would be the aggressor with the big punching power. Considering that, there would technically be two “titles” on the line.

Let me break down my reasoning a little more. Caleb Plant is a solid contender but should not be a “champion” and does not quite have the marketability or resume to be considered more than Saunders. Same thing goes for Anthony Dirrell. David Benavidez is a good possible future opponent but has also had his fair share of problems outside the ring. Saunders should not be considered any type of champion either, but if we stick strictly to accomplishments and attraction for marketing, even without the “belts” involved, Saunders is a better option then just about anybody in the super middleweight class. Another guy that I thought about putting in this spot instead, was Daniel Jacobs, which would also be a fantastic future opponent. I just think he isn’t quite the sell that Saunders is. Considering Smith is still a super middleweight and the bigger attractions for him to fight would need to meet him at 168, this makes the most sense right now.

#2 Matchup: Saul Alvarez 52-1-2 (35 KOS)

I would say that I am not honestly as interested in seeing this fight as a lot of people might be, but the timing for this bout is unquestionably a perfect opportunity for Callum Smith to prove what he is made of and is also the best pay day that Smith can earn. It is also a big pay day for Canelo, especially in the U.K., Las Vegas, or New York. I don’t think the bout itself would actually turn out to be very exciting, but there is the potential that it could get interesting due to the body style of each man. Smith is a naturally big 168-pounder with power and Canelo is kind of short and might be in some trouble if he were to get hit clean by Smith. I still think Canelo is clearly the superior boxer of the two though and would most likely stick to boxing most of the night and probably earn a decision win, but what do I know?

Callum Smith is the number one guy at 168 right now and Canelo is the number one at 160, so how could there be any problem with taking advantage of that? Let’s make it happen and see what comes of it.

#3 Matchup: Gennady Golovkin 39-1-1 (35 KOs)

I really like this bout from a styles matchup standpoint. Both men are sort of aggressive boxers who can hit hard and both men have good technical gifts. Golovkin has been a middleweight his entire career and I think he’s best suited to stay there until the end. Given the fact that he is 37 now and just fought his last fight at 168, “technically”, He can make this weight jump fairly easy.

The other reason that I like this, is of course marketability. Golovkin is a big name in this sport and can produce plenty of money. In the U.K., or possibly New York, this draws a big crowd. Considering that most of the boxers in the middleweight division are not as big of cash cows as Canelo. This would be a viable option for Golovkin as well. I’m not sure how many fights Golovkin has left, but this might be one of the best options to get the most money in the bank, aside from Canelo III of course. It also limits Canelo’s escape route from Golovkin if he can pull off the win. If Smith can’t secure the fight with Canelo for the big payoff, this bout against Golovkin would certainly be a nice second.

#4 Matchup: Sergey Kovalev 33-3-1 (28 KOs)

Unfortunately, the reality of the situation is that Sergey Kovalev is the most vulnerable of the top light heavyweights out there. He is the oldest, with the most wear on the tires. But he is the biggest name in the division. So, all in all, this is certainly the biggest risk for reward for a guy like Callum. If we were able to make this fight happen, it would be credible for both men.

Both of them have some similarities. Each has naturally heavy hands, both throw technically crisp punches, both are kind of aggressive boxer-punchers. That’s why this would be a very good fight to watch for fans. I would definitely put money down on this ending with a knockout. Callum is the number one super middleweight and Sergey Kovalev is considered the number one, or two at 175.

This can make for a decent payday for both men and I personally don’t believe it matters where it takes place because it will most likely end with a stoppage. If you were to pick the most marketable areas for this to happen though, I would say New York or the U.K.

#5 Matchup: Gilberto Ramirez 40-0 (26 KOs)

Unfinished business! That is the key theme for this fight. These two men should have already met up for a super middleweight showdown to prove who was the best at 168. Why the match never happened is just silly political garbage. Regardless if Ramirez moved up to 175 and whether Callum Smith ever does, is still a question to be answered, but nonetheless this still would be a phenomenal match to make.

They both are typically the aggressor in their bouts and it would be very interesting to see who would end up pushing the other back to force them on their back foot. I would probably guess that Smith ends up on his back foot more, because he does tend to step back to counter quite often. It would also be interesting to see if Gilberto’s combination punching and high work rate could break Callum down over time, or if Ramirez can take Smith’s power shots. These are all questions that build intrigue and make for good fights. Let’s answer those questions and settle this once and for all. This could be good marketability in Vegas, New York, or the U.K.

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