Callum Smith wants to stay on a collision course with Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr as he attempts to cement his status as the best in Britain.
Smith sits tight as he awaits an imminent fight announcement. The world’s best super-middleweight, a position attained by sending George Groves into retirement a year ago, has had to remain patient in his pursuit of further big fights.
But, with fellow world champion Billy Joe Saunders now swimming in 12-stone waters, Smith believes a domestic battle with the two-weight world champion is a natural bout to aim for.
“It’s a big fight because of what’s at stake,” Smith told Sky Sports. “It’s very rare in British boxing that you have two fighters who are both undefeated and who are both world champions.
“Saunders being with Matchroom now obviously makes this fight easier to make and, if we can both get through our next fights, then I think a fight next April or May with everything on the line is brilliant for boxing over here.
“I still think he’s a middleweight if I’m being honest, but he’s done well to win a world title at super-middle, which means a fight between us means a lot more.”
As well as targeting a showdown with Saunders, Smith also believes a contest with another British fighter, Chris Eubank Jr, will happen in the near future.
The Brighton showman proved his world credentials earlier this year with a points win over James DeGale and has declared in interviews that the proprietors of top honours are his immediate target. Smith qualifies for such a role, and the Liverpool man believes he and Eubank Jr are destined to meet.
“It’s a fight that you can’t really get away from and I think it’s something that has to happen somewhere down the line,” he said. “Eubank might not have a world title, or might not even be as highly-rated as other fighters in the division, but there’s no denying that he’s a big name, and he’s done really well to get himself to where he has.
“I think he’s a great fighter if you stand in front of him and have it with him, but he’s shown weaknesses to good boxers on more than one occasion and I’d be confident of having enough to get the job done.”
Smith’s immediate attention, while his next fight is still being negotiated behind the scenes, turns to Saturday’s WBC scrap at 168lbs as title-holder Anthony Dirrell takes on David Benavidez. The bout is chief support to Shawn Porter’s unification clash with Errol Spence on a busy Los Angeles show, live on Sky Sports, and Smith believes the Arizona man will regain the belt by defeating Dirrell.
“I still see a lot of mistakes when I watch Benavidez, especially when he’s on the attack, but he still should have far too much for Dirrell, who I think has probably seen better days,” said Smith.
“Benavidez can be hit if you time him properly, because he’s all over the place when he goes for the kill. He leaves plenty of opportunities for opponents, so there is something for Dirrell to try and exploit.