WBC Silver super middleweight champion, Callum Smith, has said he is willing to fight anyone in the 168lb division for the vacant WBC title.
Smith, the WBC mandatory challenger at 168lbs, travelled to New York to watch the unification contest between WBC titleholder, Badou Jack and IBF champion, James DeGale, which ended in a draw.
After the contest, Jack announced that he would be vacating his title and moving up to compete in the light heavyweight division, a move which was formally announced by the WBC yesterday.
Smith will now have to wait and see who he will square off against for the WBC strap. Andre Dirrell, a former champion, currently ranked number two by WBC, seems like the frontrunner at the moment.
“It’s never been Badou Jack or James DeGale that I want to fight, it’s the World title that I want; it doesn’t matter to me who it is.”
“I said before the fight that I was in a good position and that’s still the case – my next fight is going to be for the World title, that hasn’t changed,” said Smith.
“A draw or a Jack win was always going to create an interesting scenario but the only thing I care about is fighting for the World title.
“A lot of people have backed me since day one to win a World title and it’s going to be great to get out next time and prove them right.
“It’s never been Badou Jack or James DeGale that I want to fight, it’s the World title that I want; it doesn’t matter to me who it is. Anthony Dirrell is the next in line and if it’s him then great, let’s do it.”
It has been a long wait as the mandatory challenger for Smith, who won his final eliminator against Hadillah Mohoumadi in April. With the DeGale and Jack contest becoming a long-winded affair, Smith has been patiently waiting for his title shot and has, in fact, ended up fighting three times since winning his final eliminator.
Smith now hopes he can draw upon his experiences and those he has shared with his three brothers Paul, Stephen and Liam when they have fought for world titles in the past.
“It’s taken me longer than I expected and I’ve had a few fights since getting the mandatory spot, but that’s boxing,” said, Smith. “I’ve built up a bank of experience, I’ve had a few more camps, kept to the weight and now whomever it is, I’m ready for them.
“If I’d boxed for it straight after beating Mohoumadi people would have said I was perfectly prepared but just because I’ve had a few fights perhaps down a level that doesn’t mean I’ve not got even better. If I was to fight a so-called fringe level fighter I would get criticised for not fighting for the World title, so I am happy with the way that my career has gone and I believe I’m in a good place to win a belt.
“I’ve been in camp with my brothers fighting for world titles as well as Anthony Crolla and Scott Quigg, and I’ve had worse nerves watching them than on any of my own fights. As stupid as it sounds, I feel like I’ve been there before as I’ve soaked it all up because I thought that I was going to fight for a world title when I turned pro so when it comes around it’s not going to be a big shock for me.”