Liverpool’s Callum Smith is generally regarded as the best Super-middleweight in the world, he gained that honor by destroying George Groves in a manner that only former WBC, WBA and IBF world champion Carl Froch had ever achieved before, he also won the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS) final at the same time in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Smith had shown only some of his potential in the early part of his career, even his 1st round win over future WBA regular world champion Rocky Fielding looked more a matter of Fielding’s inability to deal with the big stage than Callum’s raw talent, but the manner of his win over Groves elevated him to another level, hence the boxing world’s universal opinion that ‘Mundo’ was now world No1 at 168lbs.
After time away from boxing due to the birth of his daughter in January, Smith will defend his title for the first time against France’s former Interim WBO and WBA and full WBA world middleweight titleholder Hassan N’Dam on the big Joshua vs Ruiz heavyweight card at Madison Square Garden.
At 29-years-of age, Smith has developed into a tough man to beat, not only is he tall, he can fight on the inside just like his brother and former WBO Super-welterweight Titleist Liam. Where he differs from Liam is his power which seems to have improved more recently, or should I say his ability to use it with accuracy. But it is when Callum utilises the height and reach advantages he possesses that he can patiently pick his opponent’s apart before delivering the heavy artillery . This how he broke Groves down before delivering the brutal finish in the 7th round.
Opinions on Twitter lean towards N’Dam not being up to the job against the 6’ 3” Liverpool stylist but most of us that have followed the teak-tough Frenchman’s career beg to differ.
N’Dam’s last fight was another one he was supposed to lose when he traveled to The Manchester Arena as the opponent for four-time world title challenger Martin Murray in December 2018. British judge Mark Lyson saw the fight 114-114 but he was overruled by scores of 117-112 and 116-112 for N’Dam.
The Frenchman picked up the WBC silver middleweight title in the process so was inside the middleweight limit so we know he is still capable of making 160lbs.
N’Dam will always be remembered by boxing fans for his October 2012 Battle with Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York for the WBO world middleweight title. Quillin won a unanimous decision but it was N’Dam who won the hearts of those present by picking himself up off the canvas on no less than six occasions.
N’Dam is tough and does not understand when he is beaten but stepping up to 168lbs against the freakishly tall Smith will be a step too far. I believe he will be stopped in the second half of the fight.
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