Callum Smith to fight on Joshua vs. Usyk II card on July 23

Eddie Hearn says Callum Smith has been added to the undercard of the Anthony Joshua vs. Oleksandr Usyk II rematch on July 23rd in Saudi Arabia.

Former WBA super-middleweight champion Callum, 32, has fought once since losing to Canelo Alvarez in December 2020.

That was a disappointing effort from the 6’3″ Smith, as he was utterly dominated from start to finish by Canelo, who had too much hand speed and talent.

It didn’t matter that Smith had a considerable height and reach advantage over Canelo because he was too slow and badly flawed to compete.

In his only fight since that one-sided defeat, Smith stopped Lenin Castillo in the second round last September in his debut at 175.

Callum (28-1, 20 KOs) is ranked #1 WBC at 175, and he’s hoping to get a shot at the winner of the June 18th unification fight between IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and WBO champion Joe Smith Jr.

“He’s going to be fighting on the AJ card. He’s number one now with the WBC to be mandatory for the Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr winner,” said Eddie Hearn to TalkSport Boxing about Callum Smith.

“So looking to have either a final eliminator with the WBC or just move forward and stay in that queue if you like.

“The winner of Saturday’s fight [Joshua Buatsi vs. Craig Richards] could be a big domestic fight later this year [for Callum Smith],” said Hearn.

It’s probably not a good idea to let Callum mix it with a fighter like Buatsi because he’s too stiff and slow to beat the 2016 Olympian. Callum would likely be badly overmatched against WBC 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev.

The hand speed wouldn’t be the problem for Smith against Beterbiev because he’s not that fast. The power, inside fighting, and the steady pressure from Beterbiev would be too much for the stork-like Smith.

If Smith wants to win another world title, he’s likely going to need to wait Beterbiev out until he gets old and retires because he’s not going to beat a fighter like that.

It’s too bad Callum can’t return to the 168-lb division because he’s missing out on many great fights in that weight class. If Smith were to beat David Benavidez or Caleb Plant, he’d have an excellent chance of getting a rematch with Canelo.

Of course, it’s easier said than done for a fighter like Callum to beat Plant or Benavidez. Still, he’d at least have a better chance against them than against Beterbiev or Joe Smith Jr. Those guys would take advantage of Callum’s lousy habit of shelling up against the ropes.

“And Callum, quite rightly, isn’t looking at the domestic scene,” said Hearn. “He wants to become a two-time world champion. But how long do you wait? And he’ll fancy himself to beat the winner of this fight,” said Hearn.