Callum Smith (29-2, 21 KOs) has urged light-heavyweight talent Ben Whittaker (7-0, 5 KOs) to cut down on his showboating and stick to basics after the former super middleweight champion admitted he found Whittaker’s antics “disrespectful.” 

Whittaker, a 2020 Olympic silver medalist, has emerged as one of the sport’s brightest talents and the British light heavyweight continues to light up the action not only in the ring but also on social media. 

Whittaker’s profile has risen dramatically courtesy of his behavior against Stiven Dredhaj (KO 4) and Khalid Graidia (KO 5), with social media posts from promoter Boxxer accumulating millions of interactions, highlighting Whittaker’s ability but also his showboating. 

Smith, in a recent interview with Simon Jordan on the Up Front podcast, discussed Whittaker, with Jordan asking Smith for his opinion of the light heavyweight talent. 

Smith felt Whittaker was disrespectful and accused the Olympian of attempting to emulate Prince Naseem Hamed too much.

“Ben Whittaker’s antics aren’t my cup of tea,” said Smith. “He’s trying to be like Naseem Hamed, but Naz was doing it at Madison Square Garden in world title fights, not against journeymen.

“I think he [Whittaker] is a great talent and a very good fighter, who I do think will go to the top. He just needs to do the basics a bit better and get rid of his opponents. If he can do that at the highest level with all of his showboating as well, then fair play.

“At the moment, he’s only doing it against journeymen who have finished their day’s work and then gone to be opponents for him. They’re there to help him out, not to beat him – I think it is disrespectful.”

Whittaker’s antics caused controversy against Leon Willings at the O2 Arena in London last month after he became embroiled in an in-ring exchange with Willings’ trainer, who took offense to the Olympian’s showboating. Whittaker was also verbally warned by referee Sean McAvoy to behave himself and be more respectful. 

“I think he [Whittaker] should just go about his business at the moment, but talent-wise, he is a very good fighter and will go to the highest level,” Smith added. 

“He is well known now compared to the other Olympians because of his character, and although he is showboating, he is also putting in good performances. Who am I to tell him to stop?”

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