Posted on 01/12/2024
By: Sean Crose
“I’ve never seen snow like we’re seeing here,” Callum Smith told Ariel Helwani on Wednesday in the leadup to his light heavyweight title fight this weekend in Quebec. He’s going to have his work cut out for him on Saturday, for his opponent will be the feared Artur Beterbiev. This, however, is Smith’s second chance at glory. Back in 2020, Smith was in possession of the WBA super middleweight championship of the world when he faced off against Canelo Alvarez. The red haired star proved to simply be too strong for the fast fisted Smith, who ended up losing to Canelo courtesy of a unanimous decision by the judges.
Smith feels that this time around, in the cold Quebec night, things will turn out differently. “He has been hit, he has been down twice professionally” Smith said to Helwani of Beterbiev. Still, Smith clearly felt he should give credit where credit was due. “His (Beterbiev’s achievements do speak for themselves,” he added. “He’s an undefeated world champion, he’s knocked out everyone out he’s ever faced, and he holds three world titles.” Yet Smith wanted to make it clear that he doesn’t see Beterbiev as being invincible. “Mike Tyson can lose,” he said. “Roy Jones can lose. Don’t tell me Beterbiev’s unbeatable…he is a good fighter, but he’s not the hardest person to hit. He can be hit.”
“I’ve just got to believe in myself and how good I am,” he claimed. Yet Smith is going to need more than self-belief this weekend if he wants to best the feared Beterbiev. Smith, however, appeared confident while speaking with Helwani. “I think the best version of me,” he said, “can beat anyone on the planet.” Helwani wondered if the loss to Canelo ended up helping Smith’s game. “When you lose, it highlights areas you need to improve on,” he said. “Many people judge me on that performance (against Canelo). It was a bad performance.” In other words, Smith doesn’t intend to enter the ring on Saturday night the same fighter he was against Canelo.
With many people hoping for a throwdown between Beterbiev and Canelo conqueror Dmitry Bivol sooner rather than later, Smith will certainly be upsetting the proverbial applecart should he shock the fight world by besting Beterbiev this weekend in Canada. Then again, he won’t be the first fighter to send shockwaves throughout the sport. Francis Ngannou of UFC fame almost bested Tyson Fury not all that long ago, and it’s only been a few weeks since Deontay Wilder was shocked by Joseph Parker. In a sport filled with surprises, Smith hopes to present a surprise of his own on Saturday.
- Image Courtesy of Top Rank