Callum Smith Targets Beterbiev: “I Believe I Become Champion This Year”

Callum Smith Sidesteps Stepien and Targets Beterbiev Next

Callum Smith targeting Artur Beterbiev title fight
Callum Smith (L), Artur Beterbiev

Callum Smith Hopes for UK Title Fight with Artur Beterbiev This Summer

What’s likely next in line for one-time super middleweight champion Callum “Mundo” Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) is a matchup with unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs). Smith was scheduled to face Pawel Stepien on March 11, but had to pull out due to injury.


That setback aside, the attention turns to Beterbiev. During an interview with iFL TV, Smith said he’s disappointed about having to withdraw against Stepien but has to think about the bigger picture.

“I’ve got to look at the end goal, and that’s to be world champion. Ideally, I would have liked to have gotten a win and rolled into a world title fight, but it is what it is. I still believe I become a world champion this year.”


Accompanying him was his promoter, Eddie Hearn. The head of Matchroom Promotions chimed in and said that moving forward, the World Boxing Council (WBC) will order a fight between Smith and Beterbiev. The sanctioning body plans to grant a period of time for Beterbiev to observe the Muslim ritual of Ramadan. Following that, negotiations will begin. Hearn hopes the fight happens this summer in Smith’s hometown of Liverpool, England.

Smith is the WBC mandatory challenger at 175. He acquired that slot with a fourth-round stoppage over Mathieu Bauderlique in August 2022. The Brit is hungry to get his shot and feels he has the right stuff to topple the unified champion.

Team Smith feels there’s a good shot of a fight with Beterbiev landing in Great Britain. Beterbiev’s last outing was an eighth-round stoppage over WBO mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde in January 2023. That fight took place in Great Britain. Team Smith believes the unified champion can be enticed to England one more time for the right price.

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Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for