Can Callum Smith become a British great after sensational showing at Madison Square Garden?
By Neel Khagram
Last Updated: 04/06/19 11:42am
Callum Smith produced another sensational finish at Madison Square Garden but, with his world title reign well underway, how far can the Liverpool star go?
The undefeated WBA 'super' and Ring Magazine 168lbs world champion made the first defence of the titles he won last year, dominating and stopping Hassan N'Dam within three rounds to light up the Mecca of boxing.
'Mundo' stamped his authority on proceedings from the get-go, using his size advantage to drop the challenger twice before ending the show with a fearsome right-hand.
Victory for Smith came on the back of winning the World Boxing Super Series final last September; emphatically halting George Groves in a fashion which symbolised more than a simple passing down of the guard.
The manner of victory also continued the Liverpudlian's untroubled professional career to date, thunderous first-round victories over Rocky Fielding for the British title and Hadillah Mohoumadi for the European strap seeing him quickly rise to the pinnacle of the sport.
Smith's inherent genetic gift to stand at 6ft 3in and still make the 12-stone super-middleweight limit is arguably the greatest advantage he holds over his fellow competitors. However, to say this is the only reason why he is at the top of the division would be unfair, and untrue.
The 29-year-old's ability to judge range with his jab, mix attacks to both head and body, while also possessing a dynamite left hook and straight right shows why he is such a complete fighter.
A move up to 175lbs and the light-heavyweight division does seem inevitable in time, and no one would bet against the youngest fighting brother of four becoming a two-weight king.
For now, Smith has unfinished business at 168lbs and has stated his desire to unify the division. A mouth-watering contest against pound-for-pound star Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez - who holds the WBA 'regular' title at the weight - has also been mooted as a potential future bout at the home of his beloved Liverpool FC, Anfield.
There is an old adage in boxing that 'a good big 'un will almost always beat a good little 'un', and perhaps there is no better fight right now to test this theory in what could be a calculated gamble worth taking for the Merseysider.
'Mundo', the only current boxer from these shores to hold the prestigious Ring Magazine belt, has seemingly risen to the top of the tree without much fanfare.
In a sport where hype and build-up often overshadow and sometimes undermine the 36 minutes of combat which eventually takes place in the squared-circle, the Joe Gallagher-trained fighter has committed to the mantra of letting his performances speak for themselves.
The mass audience may not therefore know the Callum Smith story in full yet, but with his biggest fights still to come, his legacy as potentially one of Britain's best has only just begun.