Is Callum Smith a legitimate threat at light heavyweight?
On September 25, former WBA ‘super’ super middleweight and Ring Magazine champion Callum Smith (27-1, 19KOs) will make his light heavyweight debut when he takes on Lenin Castillo. The bout will take place on the undercard of unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua v Oleksandr Usyk.
Ranked number 8 in the WBO rankings at light heavyweight, Smith will look to put his first professional defeat behind him. This comes after being thoroughly dominated for twelve rounds against unified super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez in December of 2020 where he lost his WBA and Ring Magazine titles.
Smith, who’s only 31 years old, will attempt to become a two-division world champion. The question is, how will the former British champion fare in his new division?
HOW DOES HE STACK UP AT LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT?!
At 6’3, Callum Smith definitely has the frame and height to be troublesome for champions and fellow contenders, alike. A talented fighter for sure, he’s shown some head scratching flaws. For one, he tends to fight down to his opponent’s level. Case in point, his fight against John Ryder in November of 2019. On the flipside, he looked outstanding in disposing of George Groves in seven rounds to win the WBA (super) super middleweight title in September of 2018.
Smith is a tall, rangy fighter with good skills and power. He most definitely should be respected, especially as a former world champion. On paper, he matches up well with divisional champions Joe Smith Jr, Dimitry Bivol, and Artur Beterbiev. Outside of that, there are favorable matchups with the likes of Marcus Browne, Badou Jack, Andre Dirrell and Anthony Yarde. Such fights would probably give fans and pundits a genuine assessment of where he truly stands in a tough division.
I, for one, look forward to seeing what Smith can do in a new division. I’m also curious to see where his head is mentally considering the beating he took at the hands of Alvarez last December. Only time will tell if he’ll truly be a contender or pretender.
By: Jerrell Fletcher