“I don’t think Groves is going to beat the count. And George Groves’ championship reign has come to an end, and we have a new WBA super world super middleweight champion and it is Callum Smith from Liverpool who has taken the title with a dramatic, emphatic 7th round knockout!”
Ron McIntosh’s words will be ingrained into Callum Smith’s head by the time he has finished watching the knockout on repeat. The Beswicks Sports client is still the WBC Diamond champion, and has now been crowned THE NEW WBA Super and Ring Magazine champion. For those not well rehearsed with boxing’s complex system of governing bodies and titles, he is not just A world champion, he is THE #1 SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT IN THE WORLD.
There was little doubt within the team that Callum would win the contest. We believed that it was his time to make a mark on the world stage. From the moment they weighed in, Callum looked the taller, stronger, healthier man. He even rather uncharacteristically engaged in mind games with his opponent, calling Groves an“old man”. Groves had no response; he swiftly left the weigh in having arrived late, wearing sunglasses to cover his eyes.
Despite the team’s confidence, most of Sky Sports’ experts wrote off his chances, even after the weigh in, favouring Groves’ experience as being the decisive factor:
“I think it’s come a bit too soon for Smith…Smith just doesn't have the experience to match.” Carl Froch
“Groves win. Smith is a good fighter and we haven't seen the best of him yet but Groves probably knows a bit too much… He has enough experience and I think he will take Smith out late on, the referee jumping in.” Johnny Nelson
The team’s reaction to those critics? “It’s a good omen; Johnny Nelson never gets it right!”And we were right!
Callum always looked comfortable during the fight, applying pressure and landing the more powerful shots. It wasn’t until the 7thround, though, when a sharp left hook rocked his opponent back. Callum, renowned for finishing fighters when he smells blood, attacked with a flurry of well-placed power shots as Groves tightened his guard and sought to hold on. Then came the right hand body shot that dropped the champion…
Callum dropped to his knees, and the scenes that followed reflected the emotion from a team that had been through so much getting Callum the world title shot he deserved. The ring was flooded with team members grins, hugs and tears.
Beswicks Sports have shouldered several out of the ring battles for Callum. From mandatory issues with the WBC, to his entry in to the World Boxing Super Series, the withdrawal of semi-finalist Jurgen Brahmer on five days’ notice, to the delay of the final to ensure that the opponent was George Groves. We very much look forward to continuing to shield Callum from any out of the ring battles so that he can focus on fight preparations.
What next for the champion? We shall have to see, but the word on everybody’s lips is ‘Anfield’, and that might be a reality after Liverpool City Council granted the club permission to host boxing events. But before the team get together to plan his next move, the weekend’s events sink in and we wish him all the best as he spends time with his family without boxing occupying his mind.
(Photos credited to the World Boxing Super Series)
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