Callum Smith says Frenchman Christopher Rebrasse represents a step-up from his impressive win over Nikola Sjekloca last November as the Merseyside fighter prepares for his WBC Silver title bout this Friday.
The 25 year-old battles the former European super middleweight champion at the Echo Arena in Liverpool’s Docklands as Smith looks to improve his 16-0 record and move another step closer to a potential world title shot in 2016.
Defeating Sjekloca convincingly, who at the time was coming off a decent showing against WBO title holder Arthur Abraham, announced Smith into the realms of world class and ‘Mundo’ knows another big win this weekend keeps him on track for his own shot at world glory.
“Preparations are going really well. Other fighters from Team Gallagher have also got big fights coming up so it’s been great training together and pushing each other to be better. I really feel that it brings out the best in us all,” Smith told World Boxing News.
“Rebrasse is a good, solid fighter. He’s big for the weight division and proved his toughness and quality at the top level. He’s a former European Champion and still put in a good performance when he lost his title against Groves.
“I feel he is also a step up from Nikola Sjekloca, although we will only know that on the night. At the time, the Sjekloca fight was talked of as a 50/50 outcome and was expected to be tougher than it turned out to be. So hopefully this one will be the same.”
With 12 stoppages from 16 wins, eight of which have come in the very first round, the rangy Smith is widely regarded as future ruler at 168lbs, although typically the level-headed Liverpudlian is keeping his feet firmly on the ground.
“We will know a lot more about where I’m at and what level I’m at after this fight. I think it’s a really good fight for that reason. I just need to keep winning and gaining experience, and my shot will come eventually,” he said.
Asked where he believes he could be in twelve months’ time, Smith added: “It’s hard to say. A lot can happen in 12 months’ but I’d like to think I’d be fighting for a world title or very close to.”
A chance to emulate his three boxing brothers Paul, Liam and Stephen looms large on the horizon for Smith as the British Boxing Board of Control recently confirmed a September clash with Rocky Fielding will take place for the vacant Lonsdale Belt.
Ironically, eldest Paul Jnr left the title behind when heading to America to face WBA ‘super’ champion Andre Ward recently and the younger Smith has every intention of keeping the coveted UK championship in the family.
“Winning the Lonsdale belt is something I’ve always wanted to do and would mean a lot to me. My three brothers have all held it at some point in their careers, so to make it four would be a special achievement for us all,” stated Smith.
Smith v Rebrasse is live on Sky Sports 1 this Friday from 7.30pm UK