After defending his WBA Super, Ring Magazine and WBC Diamond titles against John Ryder last night, Callum Smith reflects on what was a very tough fight.

“I always felt ahead. I never once thought I was behind in the fight.”

The consensus ringside was that it was an extremely close fight. Some people had Smith edging it, some has Ryder nicking it.

Smith knows it wasn’t his best performance, but was happy to get the job done.
He said, “I knew I wasn’t the best. I knew I wasn’t at the races.”

Many people in the boxing business were shocked when the scorecards were read. One judge had it 117-111 in Smith’s favour, whilst the other two judges had it 116-112 to the Liverpool man.

Smith’s trainer, Joe Gallagher was confident his man won, and refused to believe the fight was close. He said, “I think after seven rounds Callum was 6-1 up. John then had a couple of good rounds down the middle. Then Callum came back again and I had it 8-4 at the end of the fight.

“Once I knew Callum got to the seven rounds mark, I knew he’d won the fight.”

Joe Gallagher did not hide what he wanted to do next with his fighter. “He [Callum] held off the mandatory. I though Callum Smith boxed really well, and like you say, a big 2020.

“We want Canelo. That’s who we want. Tell Eddie Reynosa to stop being scared.”

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Smith knows if he was to fight Canelo or another big name in the division, he’d need to up his game.

“I’m a perfectionist. I always want the best, I’m disappointed when it goes to points. I always want to be explosive and blow people out. I’m not happy with the performance.

“If you get me one of the big names next time, I’ll need to be better. I’ve always said that fear factor where if I don’t turn up I’ll lose, that always brings out the best in me.”

Smith’s opponent on the night, John Ryder, felt really hard done by. He felt he had done enough to win the fight.

“I feel like I won and feel I should be sitting here as the winner and as champion. I feel quite hard done by,” he said in the post-fight press conference.

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Ryder’s trainer, Tony Sims, also believed his man did enough to dethrone Smith of his belts.

“I thought he won the fight, I thought he won it on the last two rounds. John deserves to have a return fight.

“With there being so much controversy about the decision, I can’t see how Callum can move on without giving John another shot.”

John Ryder was visibly disheartened after the loss, but insists he belongs at world level.

“I believe that I showed my worth in there tonight. I believe that I should be champ.”

Despite the controversy of the judge’s scorecards, Callum Smith is still the number one super-middleweight on the planet. The scouser will be looking for some huge fights now, and the potential of unifying the 168-pound division.