Callum Smith hopes to make first world title defence at Anfield
By Richard Damerell
Last Updated: 01/10/18 4:20pm
Callum Smith plans to unify the world super-middleweight belts and intends to start his title reign with a massive homecoming fight at Anfield.
The Liverpudlian was crowned as the new WBA 'super' champion following his impressive seventh-round stoppage win over George Groves in Friday's World Boxing Super Series final in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Smith had previously spoken of his desire to fight at the home of Liverpool football club, which was recently given the green light to host a boxing event, and the 28-year-old will urge promoter Eddie Hearn to deliver a title fight at the 54,000-seated stadium.
"Most definitely, the dream has always been to fight at Anfield," said Smith. "I've done my part, I've brought a world title back, and they have just got a licence to have other events, so it could be meant to be.
"I'll be on the phone to Eddie Hearn, asking for my next fight to be at Anfield, and to defend the world title. That can be another box ticked off the bucket list."
Smith strides into new era at 168
Callum Smith's win over George Groves saw him join a new breed of world champions at 168lbs, where size seems to matter.
The 168lb division includes a number of exciting rivals, including WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez, WBC belt holder David Benavidez, current IBF king Jose Uzcategui, and fellow Merseysider Rocky Fielding, who holds the WBA 'regular' title.
If you ask people who the best in the world is - I want everyone's answer to be Callum Smith.
"It's a very good division and there are a lot of big-name fights out there for me," said Smith.
"I want to have a rest, a bit of downtime, and then I just want to fight the best in the division and cement my place as the best in the world. No doubts.
"If you ask people who the best in the world is - I want everyone's answer to be Callum Smith. That's the plan, to unify the division, and be remembered as one of the best super-middleweights."
Groves was the top seed in the tournament, but Smith had extra motivation to prove himself at the highest level after being unhappy with his recent performances.
"Don't get me wrong, he's a very good fighter, but I always felt in control, and the fight was going to pan out the way I envisaged it," he said.
"It was nip and tuck at the start, and I felt like I started to take over and landed a good shot and got him out of there.
"There's a lot of people talking big of me, and expecting big things of me, and then over the last couple of years I under-performed a couple of times, and I felt like people forgot about me, and wrote me off.
"The weekend was my chance to remind people how good I am, and I've always believed that I could become the best in the world, and I achieved that on Friday."