Smith insists Dirrell fight will go ahead


Callum Smith is confident his world title fight with Anthony Dirrell will go ahead despite his opponent’s involvement in the scuffles following his brother’s DQ win over Jose Uzcategui.

Andre Dirrell was awarded victory over Uzcategui by disqualification after the Venezuelan was judged to have landed a knockout punch after the bell at the end of the eighth round on May 20.

Dirrell’s uncle and trainer Leon Lawson then sucker punched Uzcategui in the ring, for which he has since been charged with two counts of assault.

There was then a lot of pushing and shoving in the ring with former WBC super-middleweight champion Anthony Dirrell, 32, involved.

While calling for Lawson to receive a life-time ban, Smith (22-0, 17 KOs) hopes his fight with Anthony Dirrell (30-1-1, 24 KOs) is not postponed and expects them to meet for the vacant WBC world super-middleweight title in California on Sep. 9.

“There’s no place for that in boxing and he [Lawson] should get a lifetime ban,” Smith told ESPN.

“I didn’t see Anthony Dirrell involved at the time, but then people got in touch with me after and said he was and were asking if the fight was off. It’s not acceptable really, there was lot of commotion afterwards and he got involved in the pushing and shoving.

“But it’s not effected my fight from what I’ve heard and no news is good news. I wouldn’t want it postponed after what happened. I’ve waited long enough for this fight, I thought it was going to be this month, but now it’s on and I don’t want it put off any longer.”

Smith, who last fought in October, says is looking forward to facing American Dirrell in California.

“The contract says it will take place in LA and I think it could be at the StubHub Center in Carson,” Smith told ESPN.

“I fought there on the undercard of Kell Brook against Shawn Porter in 2014 and it was a great experience.”

Like Dirrell, Smith is from a boxing family and has three brothers — Liam, Paul and Stephen — who have fought for world titles.

And Callum, the youngest of the boxing brothers, believes he is ready for his first world title shot at the age of 27.

“It’s a good fight, he’s a former champion and I’m unbeaten,” Smith told ESPN. “I’m 100 ready for this fight, it has come at the right time in my career, and it’s the fight I want more than any other.”

Smith says winning the WBC belt has always been his priority before a clash with fellow Briton James DeGale (23-1-1, 14 KOs), who holds the IBF belt.

And another Briton, George Groves (26-3, 19 KOs), also holds the WBA version of the world super-middleweight title after his sixth round win over Fedor Chudinov on Saturday.

DeGale, 31, is expected to be out until late this year due to surgery on a shoulder injury suffered in January’s draw with Badou Jack, who afterwards gave up his WBC belt.

“There were a lot of rumours I would fight DeGale next at one point, but he has his mandatory defence against Andre Dirrell now and I don’t know if he can have a fight in between,” Smith told ESPN.

“My plan all along was to win my own world title and bring something to the table before a fight with James. It only became likely that I might fight him when the WBC was taking so long in announcing my fight with Dirrell, but as soon as they announced it I knew it was the one.”


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