So far, Callum Simpson has served an almost perfect apprenticeship. Next year the super middleweight will get the opportunity to graduate.
Nine successive knockouts established the unbeaten 27-year-old from Barnsley as one of the best kept secrets on the small hall scene.
Simpson (13-0, 9 KO’s) may have been beating the same opponents that every other British prospect will face on the way through the ranks but it was the manner in which he was doing it that marked him out as one to watch.
In April, he was given the chance to show what he could do on the undercard of Lawrence Okolie’s world title defence against David Light.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression and Simpson exploded onto the scene with an impressive knockout of Celso Neves. Since then he has managed to stay active and although his decision victories over Boris Crighton and Jose de Jesus Macias might have lacked the drama of his outstanding television debut, they have allowed Simpson to gain some valuable experience.
Simpson will soon get the opportunity to put everything he has learned into practice. Last month, the British Boxing Board of Control that it had decided to approve Simpson as a voluntary challenger for Jack Cullen’s British super middleweight title. Boxxer will promote the show. Cullen took the title with a conclusive third round knockout of Mark Heffron in September and has proven to be one of the most exciting fighters on the British scene.
Simpson’s manager, Kevin Maree, is looking forward to the fight but also wants to maintain the momentum Simpson has built up whilst they wait for a date.
“The board put it out. I don’t know the exact details but I don’t think Jack Cullen will be ready to fight for a little while so we won’t wait around until that’s done. Callum wants the fight and will take the fight but Callum will also maybe box before then,” Maree told BoxingScene.
“When that happens it’ll be a great fight – I’ve got all the time in the world for Cullen – but I also think it’s a great fight for Callum. One of Cullen’s main strengths is his size but Callum is bigger. I just think Callum is a bit better all round.
“Callum’s been going into these fights almost trying to get rounds. We were so aware of him blasting everybody out on a couple of rounds, there’s nothing there for him to learn. I wouldn’t say he’s been taking it easy, that’d be a lie, but we have been getting him to relax a bit and get a few rounds under his belt.
“I think there’s another gear to go through if he was let off the leash to start demolishing these people again but at the moment, he’s only had about 40 rounds.
“I liked the Boris Crighton fight because I knew he wasn’t gonna fall over in the first round. The Macias fight was perfect because he’d keep Callum on his toes every moment he was in there otherwise he’d get a big one back. Those two fights have done Callum more good than all his other fights combined.”