Callum Smith is out to ruin one of the most anticipated fights of 2024.
Former WBA super middleweight champion Smith 29-1 (21) will challenge WBC, WBO and IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev 19-0 (19) at Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada on January 13.
Victory will make the 33-year-old Brit a two-weight world champion but it will also see interest in a fight between Beterviev and WBC light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol 22-0 (11) dwindle.
But Smith, whose lone loss was on points to Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 60-2-2 (39) three years ago, could care less.
“I don’t blame people for wanting to see Beterbiev-Bivol,” Smith said to Boxing Social. “As a boxing fan, that’s a fight that I would like to see. It is a little disrespectful when there are people in boxing posting, and I’m due to fight [Beterbiev] in January.
“I’m confident in my own ability and I feel I can beat him when I’m at my best. I believe the best version of me beats anyone in the world. In my eyes, it’ll be me [winning against] Beterbiev and then me against Bivol after that. So, I think I can ruin people’s plans.
“I’m not angry for people wanting to see the fight because it’s a fight that people want to see. At the moment, they’re the two champions in this weight division – so I can’t really take too much offence about it.”
Smith elaborated on his ambitions in the sport in a separate interview with BBTV: “I wanna be a two-weight world champion so whatever work I have to do to get there is irrelevant. I’ll do it just because it’s what I want.
“I don’t hop, skip and jump the gym every day because this is what I love doing. It is hard at times and it is monotonous and repetitive. Some days are tough. I’ve got two little kids at home and that’s just as hard. Sometimes you come to the gym tired and you’ve gotta get the work done. You’ve gotta know why you’re doing it. That thought of becoming a two weight world champion is what gets me out of bed and gets me to the gym.
“The work is irrelevant. I know what I’m chasing. That’s why I’m here. If I didn’t believe I was good enough to do it, I’d be sitting at home with my slippers on and enjoying life.”
Smith says he still has a burning desire to compete at the highest level.
“I’ve achieved a lot. I’ve achieved maybe more than I could have imagined. I was number one in the world and I’ve got a Ring magazine belt sitting at home which is a belt I never thought I’d achieve,” he said.
“Am I satisfied? No. I do believe I want more and I’m gonna get more.”