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Callum Smith needs a bigger name than Billy Joe Saunders to fill Anfield

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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WBA super middleweight champion Callum Smith 26-0 (19) will need a bigger name than WBO counterpart Billy Joe Saunders 29-0 (14) to fill Anfield Stadium, according to his trainer Joe Gallagher.

Matchroom Boxing boss Eddie Hearn is in discussions with Liverpool about hosting a fight at Anfield early next summer if Smith is successful in his second title defence against John Ryder this weekend.

“It’s an opportunity and we will see what happens,” said Gallagher to the Mirror. “But we don’t want Anfield with just 10,000 there, we want Anfield with a proper dance partner.

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“From what I hear about Billy Joe Saunders he either wants to move back down to middleweight or get the Canelo fight.

“But I don’t think Billy Joe Saunders would bring 30-40,000 in, just look at his last fights.

“We will just have to wait and see, but first and foremost, we have to take care of John Ryder and he’s in the form of his life.”

Gallagher says Smith is in career-best form in the gym ahead of his clash with Ryder 28-4 (16) at Liverpool’s Echo Arena this Saturday night.

“We haven’t seen the best of Callum Smith yet, that’s the frightening thing,” Gallagher continued.

“Against George Groves I was really annoyed that he stopped him in the seventh round because he had so much more to show in terms of shot selection.

“Listen, he’s still got huge potential and hopefully John Ryder will be able to bring another skill set out of Callum for everyone to sit back and say he is the real deal.

“We did testing last week and everything is the best it’s been. His weight is down, that tells you everything that he won’t take any challenge lightly. He’s absolutely on it.

“It’s the homecoming and he won’t let anything spoil that.”

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