Exclusive: Mauricio Sulaiman solidifies Callum Smith’s mandatory position

Phil Jay 30/11/2016
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WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has moved to praise Callum Smith for his attitude towards the upcoming super-middleweight unification between champion Badou Jack and fellow title holder James DeGale.

Smith, 26, had been waiting a year for his stipulated chance to fight for the coveted World Boxing Council belt before Jack agreed to face DeGale in a unification on January 14 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Victory over city rival Rocky Fielding initially set up the chance as Smith bludgeoned the Stockbridge man in a frenzied first round onslaught at the Echo Arena in late 2015.

Jack and Degale’s two-belt battle means Smith is forced to wait until at least the late spring for his opportunity to challenge the winner, which Sulaiman stated was all in aid of making the best fights possible for the boxing public.

“I am happy to participate in this process of unification as fans deserve great fights,” Sulaiman exclusively told World Boxing News.

“I accept that working together with the other organisations works for us and I will be making every effort to make sure the best fights happen.

“We are very happy to have secured a positive response from Callum Smith, our mandatory super-middleweight contender, who was willing to accept having this unification bout as he will then fight the winner.”

‘Mundo’ will plough on with a first defence of his British title against Luke Blackledge and feature on one of the biggest UK cards of the year, topped by Anthony Joshua’s world heavyweight title clash with Eric Molina. The December 10 event, which will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Box Office, gives Smith the opportunity to send a warning out to the entire 168 pound division.

Undefeated in 21 bouts with 16 stoppages, Smith has long been tipped to become a world champion and will be the last of the famous boxing brothers to contest a recognized belt once his opportunity is finalised next year.

Opponent Blackledge has himself had to hold fire whilst Smith sorted out his future and will be bidding to derail the Liverpool man’s world title hopes when the pair trade blows at Manchester Arena.