Monday, 28 October 2013

Callum Smith - The Silent Assassin

Having won a silver medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, missing out on a place at the London Olympics was a bitter pill to swallow for Liverpool's Callum Smith. 

Nevertheless, he digested that disappointment and quickly opted to join his brothers; Paul, Stephen and Liam on the title trail in the paid ranks. 

Since ditching the vest and head-guard in November of last year, Smith has been nothing short of sensational. 

His debut was an unspectacular points victory over Dan Blackwell, and another points win over James Tucker came soon afterwards. 

Taking those two performances into account, nobody could've anticipated the incredible run of form that came next for the lanky Liverpudlian.

It all started with a stunning left hook to the jaw of tough guy Irishman, Tommy Tolan, in February. The next five opponents were simply sacrificial lambs and they were all felled by the silent assassin. 

The class of opposition has risen with each passing fight, but so has Smith's performance level. 

Having scored four consecutive first round knockouts over opponents that are renowned for giving prospects a torrid time, Smith was thrown in with Patrick Mendy for his maiden title tilt. 

Mendy is a former Prizefighter winner, he is an awkward boxer and he had never been floored or stopped in his first 21 fights. In actual fact, many people believe that he could be a genuine contender if he had the proper promotional backing.

However, Smith positively pummelled him into submission in the first round to become the super middleweight champion of England. 

With his older brother, Paul, holding the Lonsdale belt at 168lbs and his stablemate, Rocky Fielding, holding the Commonwealth strap, the only option for Smith and his promotor, Eddie Hearn, was to fight for an international title and boost his ranking.

The opponent was announced as Ruben Eduardo Acosta, an experienced and tricky Argentinian who has challenged for a world title and has mixed at the world level for a number of years.

There was a chorus of ironic jeers at the end of the first round when Acosta strolled back to his corner, but Smith proceeded to dominate the contest for the next five rounds before obliterating Acosta in the sixth session with a sequence of thunderous body-shots that left the visitor flat on his face and writhing in agony. 

With nine victories, seven knockouts and two belts on his professional résumé already, Eddie Hearn is already plotting Smith's route to the beautiful green and gold WBC world championship belt, and hopes his man will secure the world title before his twentieth contest.

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