19
Jan
2020

Hearn wants Smith v Dirrell for vacant WBC belt at Anfield Stadium

Phil Jay 04/02/2017

Lawrence Lustig

Promoter Eddie Hearn has outlined his plans to stage a spring world title shot for Callum Smith at the fighter’s beloved Anfield, home of Liverpool Football Club.

Smith, 26, is mandatory challenger to the WBC super-middleweight title recently vacated by Badou Jack and the Merseysider will now be pitted against the next challenger in line who accepts the contest.

Hearn sees that as being one of the Dirrell brothers, Anthony or Andre, both of who are highly ranked by the World Boxing Council and sitting either side of Turkey’s Anvi Yildrim in the December ratings.

An agreement with either sibling would potentially only be possible if Hearn agrees to allow Smith to travel to the United States, although the Matchroom supremo has bigger plans for ‘Mundo’ involving a clash closer to home.

“I think that will go to purse bids,” Hearn told Sky Sports. “Dirrell doesn’t want to come to the UK, as his brother didn’t. I don’t think they are going to accept any offers.

“If we win the purse bid, they will come, they will have to come. We will wait and see on that I think.

“I would love Anfield. I would like to do it at Anfield,” he added.

On whether Smith could consider switching his attention to a possible world title shot at James DeGale’s IBF belt, Hearn was focused solely on winning the coveted green and gold strap with the WBC.

“We have gone a long way with the WBC,” Hearn pointed out.

“People are talking about the DeGale fight for the IBF, but we have invested a huge amount of time with the WBC to get that position and he wants that belt, so his preference is to fight Anthony Dirrell.”

Staging a fight at Anfield would follow the success of Tony Bellew’s big night in the city at Goodison Park last year and could see all three of Smith’s brothers feature on the undercard.