Smith’s Lifelong Dream Hinges On Win Over Ryder
Callum Smith is not only putting his WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring Magazine super middleweight titles on the line against mandatory challenger John Ryder on November 23rd, but his dream to fight at Anfield Stadium.
“I want the big fights, I want the superstar names and the only chance of me getting them is by having a World title, so I’ve got to keep my belt for as long as I can,” said Smith. “John Ryder poses a big threat. He wants to take what I’ve worked so hard for. I worked hard to win my World title and I’ve got to work even harder to keep it now.
“I’m expecting a tough fight from John Ryder, he’s in good shape and it’s a big opportunity for him. I just think the best version of me beats any Super-Middleweight on the planet. With the way I’ve been performing in the gym, I think I’m going to put in a big performance. You’ve got to respect him because he’s in good form. He’s won fights where he was the underdog and he wasn’t supposed to win.”
“He deserves a lot of respect,” Smith said of his mandatory challenger. “He hasn’t just been picked out of a hat, he earnt the mandatory position with good wins. I respect every fighter and John especially, but like I said before I think the best version of me beats any Super-Middleweight in the World and as long as I turn up and perform the way I know I can then I think I’ll be too much for him.”
Defending his championship for the first time in his hometown of Liverpool, the undefeated Smith looks at a win over Ryder as the final step for a unification fight against WBO super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders early next year.
“This fight is like every other fight in my career, they’ve always been must-win. I always wanted to be where I am now so any loss along the way would have derailed those plans. Now people are talking about 2020 and the massive names and the thought of Anfield. All of that disappears if I lose to John Ryder.
“It’s the same motivation that I’ve always had. I always want more and I’m always wanting to see what’s next. This fight is no different, a win over Ryder opens the door for possible huge fights in 2020. A loss to Ryder and they all disappear and I become a challenger again and I join the queue. It’s a must-win fight for me and that’s all I need. As long as I’ve got a World title I’m in a very good position.”
Quotes: Boxing News 24