Callum Smith’s Bitter Pill: Accepting Defeat and Assessing the Future

By Tim Compton - 01/14/2024 - Comments

Callum Smith seemed distraught after suffering a seventh-round TKO loss to Artur Beterbiev last Saturday night.

The former WBA super middleweight champion Smith (29-2, 21 KOs) said it was difficult for him to accept that he’s not the best, and he says he wants to assess his future to determine whether it’s worth it to return to the gym to continue.

Smith said he seemed to have a disconnect, saying that Beterbiev’s power wasn’t the problem and that he was easy to hit. However, the outcome was still bad, getting dropped twice in the seventh round and being pulled out by his trainer, Buddy McGirt.

If he does continue his career, he might be better off getting a nutritionist who can help him return to the 168-lb division because his power is more formidable in that weight class, and he has no chance against the top 175-pounders.

With promoter Eddie Hearn’s help, Smith can be maneuvered around the killers, David Benavidez, Jermall Charlo, and David Morrell Jr., into a rematch with Canelo Alvarez.

A Shadow of the Best:

“I’m disappointed. I’m used to being the best, and I’m obviously not,” said Callum Smith to Sky Sports Boxing after his loss to Artur Beterbiev last Saturday night.

Smith is still the same fighter he was at 168, but he just ran up against a fighter that would have beaten him at any point in his career.

He would have never beaten Beterbiev if the two had fought previously because he’s too good. You can say the same thing about Dmitry Bivol. He’s on another level than Smith.

“I don’t think he’s the hardest to hit. Boxing-wise, he’s pretty readable,” said Smith about Beterbiev. “Whether he felt any, I’m not too sure. I came up short tonight, and it’s a hard one to take.”

The right hand that Beterbiev landed in the seventh round shook Smith, which seemed plenty hard, and he couldn’t recover from that shot. Beterbiev wasn’t loading up on his shots because that’s not his style


58-56 – Beterbiev
58-56 – Beterbiev
59-55 – Beterbiev

High Bar, Hard Fall

“No, I’ve always set the bar very high and wanted to be the best,” said Smith when asked if he’d thought about what he was going to do after this loss to Beterbiev. “I always believed I was the best, but it’s now hard to accept that I’m not. I think it’s time to assess the future to see if I have any goals to go back to the gym.

Smith can continue on, but if he’s focused on getting the bigger paydays, that’s probably not going to happen at 175. It’ll take too many years for him to get back into position to challenge for a world title, and by then, Beterbiev will have retired and the division will be empty of names.

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