Callum Smith faces a grudge match against John Ryder on Saturday and Betfair's ambassador David Haye is full of admiration for the champion...
"Expect Callum Smith to send out a real message of intent to his rivals with a strong showing in front of a sell-out crowd."
He wants the big fights
I rate Callum Smith very highly. In and around the super middleweight division he has done all that has been asked of him to date. He could even move up to light heavyweight and challenge the likes of Saul Alvarez or there is talk of Canelo moving back down a division to challenge Callum for his super middleweight title. That would be a mega fight.
There's a lot of great bouts out there for him. You've also got Gennady Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders, Daniel Jacobs. Personally, the fight I'd like to see him take on after Saturday is against an American named Caleb Plant who holds a version of the super middleweight championship, currently owning the IBF strap. That would be a great fight for both men.
Smith a pound-for-pound contender
Any of the fights mentioned would generate huge pay-per-view numbers so he finds himself in a fantastic position, if he gets the win on Saturday over John Ryder. We could even begin to look at Smith as a genuine pound-for-pounder in 2020.
The fact Callum Smith has been talking about fighting the elites of the middleweight division, such as Golovkin and Alvarez, at Anfield doesn't suggest to me he is looking beyond Saturday's opponent John Ryder in any way. On paper, this should be a routine victory but someone of Callum's pedigree understands Ryder has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Champion will put on a show
We'll get a version of John Ryder that has never been seen before. The Londoner will box out of his skin and really try to give the hometown hero a run for his money. Smith is the undisputed, unified super middleweight world champion, however. He has the Muhammad Ali Trophy. He has beaten quality fighters throughout his career, including George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series final last year. He is number one in the world because he doesn't overlook any opponent.
In fact, he will rise to the occasion and aim to put on a show against John Ryder knowing he has these super fights on the horizon. Expect Callum Smith to send out a real message of intent to his rivals with a strong showing in front of a sell-out crowd. The Betfair Sportsbook has Smith at 1/20 with a knockout win available at 2/5.