Super middleweight Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith 25-0 (18) has shocked the boxing world with his upset win over consensus world number one ‘Saint’ George Groves 28-4-2 (20) in the long-awaited final of the first season of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS).
The unbeaten Smith knocked out veteran Groves in the seventh round to claim the WBA 168-pound title, the Ring magazine belt and the WBSS Muhammad Ali Trophy.
In a closely contested fight Smith broke things open in the seventh round when he landed a left hook that staggered Groves and precipitated a furious assault that culminated in the champion crumpling to the canvas at the King Abdullah Sport City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday night.
Scores at the time of the stoppage were 57-57, 55-59 and 59-55.
“I know how good I am and knew I had the ability. I had a slow couple of years and people forgot about me. I think tonight I reminded people,” Smith, 28, told ITV Box Office.
“I felt I was ahead at the time of the stoppage. I feel like I was beating him at his own game, it was a boxing match at range. I got my big shots off first and he couldn’t take it.
“It just means everything. I am not a man who shows a lot of emotion, you never see me ecstatic, but you can see tonight it is a lifetime of work all gone into one.
“I’d like to think we are not finished but I’d love to defend my titles back in Liverpool and give a great fighting city a great night of boxing.”
A disappointed Groves praised Smith for his performance and refused to make excuses for own performance.
“It was not meant to be,” said Groves. “Full credit to Callum. Boxed well, heavy-handed. He got me with a body shot at the end, which is embarrassing for me, because I’ve never been dropped with a body shot in my life, but he got the decisive shot in the end.
“I’m not going to make excuses. The shoulder worked and Callum was the better man on the night. That’s tough for me to say but I have to be honest.
“I’m going to have a long rest because it’s been a dogged year. I won the world title just over a year ago, but I want to go home because I miss my wife and kids.”