Exclusive: Joe Gallagher wants Badou Jack v Callum Smith next

Phil Jay 14/07/2016

Lawrence Lustig

To cap a massive couple of years for the famous Smith family from Liverpool, only one brother from the fab four needs to contest a world title for the complete set.

First off, eldest brother Paul fought bravely against then super-middleweight title holder Arthur Abraham in both September 2014 and February 2015 in his world championship quest, coming up short over 24 rough rounds with the experienced German.

Eight months on – the third sibling down in the age pecking order, Liam Smith took on John Thompson for the super-welterweight title and became the first brother to gain world champion status – to the delight of trainer Joe Gallagher.

Liam has since defended the strap twice, whilst elder brother Stephen lost for only the second time in his career when challenging slick Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza for the 130 pound championship last April.

Now, according to Gallagher, it should be the turn of the youngest Callum, who has worked his way to mandatory status with the WBC and is on the verge of challenging recently named Nevada State Fighter of the Year Badou Jack.

As it stands, Jack seems committed to a unification with James DeGale after the pair fought on the same bill earlier this year – with the eventual view of facing each other, whilst Gallagher doesn’t see the logic in that bout.


Yes, it’s two champions facing each other, but Gallagher believes there would be far more clamour on UK soil to see an alternative double-header in what would see two Briton’s in world title fights rather than one.

The Ring Magazine Trainer of the Year sees Jack defending against number one contender Callum and DeGale trading blows with arch-rival George Groves again as the most logical fights to make at 168 pounds.

“We’re really hopeful Eddie Hearn will pull off the Badou Jack fight for Callum Smith,” Gallagher exclusively told World Boxing News.

“There’s talk of Badou Jack v James DeGale but I don’t see where the money is in that fight and where will it take place?

“We want the WBC to push through with Callum as the mandatory and don’t see Jack v DeGale having the same appeal. I think DeGale would be better off fighting George Groves for a second time. That’s the money fight for him and leave Jack to Callum.”

Gallagher also explained that Smith has already gone through his warm up fight and sees no need for another as the World Boxing Council will be announcing purse bids should Jack v DeGale not be confirmed soon.

“Callum had the job on Tony Bellew’s undercard as we were ready then to fight Jack next. That was supposed to be it and purse bids should be called for Jack v Smith soon, maybe August.

“If Jack v Smith and the DeGale v Groves rematch get made, the winners can then fight each other in another massive fight. It would be great October, November to bring Badou Jack to the UK.

“Obviously we had the blue side of Liverpool lit up recently with the Tony Bellew night at Goodison, so it would be great to see the red side celebrating another world champion at the end of the year.

“For Liverpool to have three world champions, it would be great for the city,” he added.