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Callum Smith aiming to become undisputed champion in 2020

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 ‘Mundo’ Smith 26-0 (19) is planning to make a statement against John ‘Gorilla’ Ryder 28-4 (16) in Liverpool this Saturday night before targeting the big fights in 2020.

“That’s the plan, I believe I’m the best in the world at this weight,” Smith told Sky Sports News. “If you’ve got a belt in my weight division then you’re in my path. That’s what I want, to collect as many belts as I can. To cement myself as the best on the planet.

“Undisputed champion is something that I’ve set myself as a goal.”

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The other titleholders at 168-pounds are Billy Joe Saunders with the WBO belt, Caleb Plant with the IBF version David Benavidez with the WBC crown.

Speaking of Saunders, Smith said: “We’d both prefer Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez or Gennady Golovkin but if those fights don’t happen, then a fight between ourselves would be huge. We’re both British, both world champions, both undefeated. It is a fight that makes sense.”

An added incentive for Smith to deliver an impressive performance against Ryder is the opportunity to fight at Anfield, the 55,000-seat home of Liverpool FC.

“I’ve got to put in a performance that makes people say: ‘He is the man to take over, he is the best in the world’,” Smith said.

“I put pressure on myself, but I thrive in those situations. The bigger the situation, the bigger the fight.

“John is a good fighter but he’s not good enough to beat me.

“It’s nothing personal for me – in the ring I switch on, and I’m there to take out whoever is in the opposite corner. Unfortunately for John, that will be him.

“[I must] maximise my potential and get the fights that I’m in a position to get. I’ve got a world title so the big names should be there. I’d like to see how good I am.”

Smith added: “I try not to look past any opponent because I’ve got too much respect for them. But there’s a massive 2020 planned, I’ve got a great team to secure the big fights and venues.

“Lose this weekend, and all that disappears.”

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