Callum Smith is preparing to watch Artur Beterbiev-Dmitrii Bivol at his wedding reception on June 1, and the outcome could even determine his future. 

The 34 year old was stopped in January by Beterbiev, the IBF, WBO and WBC light-heavyweight champion, but despite speculation about him featuring on the undercard of the undisputed title fight between Beterbiev and his fellow Russian, the WBA champion Bivol, his date in Spain meant that doing so was never considered.

Smith previously fought in Saudi Arabia in 2018, when he stopped George Groves in the final of the super-middleweight edition of the World Boxing Super Series. Fights with domestic opponents Anthony Yarde and Joshua Buatsi would prove similarly appealing, but it is a contest for a recognised world title, and not the desire to prove he remains Britain’s finest light heavyweight, that is expected to tempt him to fight on.

“Callum’s having a break,” said his brother Stephen Smith, who in his new capacity as a trainer oversaw Charlie Edwards’ recent victory over Georges Ory. “Obviously he was disappointed after his last one. 

“He gets married on June 1, so we’re all going away for his wedding, but he gets married, ironically, the same day as the big fight between Beterbiev and Bivol. That’s why we’ve been laughing when people have been saying ‘Callum’s on the 5v5’. ‘He’s definitely not.’ We’re all abroad for his wedding that date; he gets married, hopefully he can see what’s going on with the belts, and if any of them get freed up he’d love a chance again to go and become a two-weight champion. If they get tied up then I don’t know whether he’ll be back. I don’t know. It’s up to him. I’d love to see him go on. 

“I don’t know whether his ambition will be there if the titles are tied up. He’s done really well out of boxing – he’s a former world champion; Ring Magazine belt and stuff. I just think, knowing him well and knowing how well he’s done financially and stuff – he’s in a good position. I just think, ‘Will he come back for a domestic fight?’. No, I don’t think so. I think he just wants to be world champion, so if the belts get freed up – an opportunity to be a world champion, he’ll jump at it. But if there’s not, I don’t know whether he’ll entertain another fight.

“Once he knows more after his wedding, I can see him getting out and fighting again – maybe in October. But it’s just what it’s for. If the titles become vacant – for example if Beterbiev was to knock Bivol out and move up to cruiser[weight]; I can’t see Bivol moving up in weight. If it was one of them where there’s a big knockout or whatever and they didn’t want the rematch – I don’t know how the contracts are, but – if it was something along those lines, and he vacated the belts, then it frees up the division and I can see Callum having another fight. 

“He might get himself in contention for a vacant belt or whatever. But all these talks of domestic fights – like Yarde and Buatsi and stuff like that – I can’t see him entertaining. I don’t know, but just off conversations I’ve had with him I think he wants to be champion again, so if it’s a case of fighting one of them to get a world title then he’ll jump at it, but to have a fight with them because X amount of money’s on the line from Saudi I think he’ll just be like, ‘Yeah, whatever’.”

The four Smith brothers – Paul, the eldest, has entered management, and Liam remains an active fighter – are planning on watching the fight between Beterbiev, 39, and the 33-year-old Bivol in the hours after Callum Smith and Kim Love are declared husband and wife.

“[Callum] will as well – definitely,” Smith continued. “I should imagine – it depends, obviously, on timings. His wedding, I’m sure it’s in the evening, we’ll try our best – but I think we’ll try and watch it. Especially with the interest for Callum. It’s a massive fight. As hard as it was to see Beterbiev and Callum, I’m actually intrigued to see how that fight goes. 

“I actually fancy Beterbiev more now. Having seen how good he was with Callum – the things he does a lot better than I gave him credit for. I thought he might load up against Callum – Callum would get opportunities to catch and counter him – and he didn’t. He didn’t load anything up. 

“The better man won, 100 per cent, but the adjustments he made – I was really impressed with him. I rate Bivol by the way – I’m not saying for any means it’s easy. But after seeing Beterbiev up close – when I see him against Callum, I think he’s even better now. I fancy him. I think Bivol will try and use his legs, but I still think Beterbiev will get to him.”

Smith was also asked about what he expects to follow for his 35-year-old brother Liam, who was stopped by Chris Eubank Jr in September 2023.

“Liam’s just back off his injury,” he responded. “He had a terrible back injury, which was quite apparent in his last fight – I don’t know why he fought to be honest with you, but contractually and stuff he was getting pressed into it, and whatever else. But he got in there – he took a loss and he’s gotta learn and come back from it and his first priority’s gotta be getting himself back to full health. 

“He’s there now. He’s back in the gym [under trainer Joe McNally]. So hopefully it’s behind him – his injury’s behind him and he can plan for what’s next. He’s got a few offers on the table; he’s been inundated with offers to be honest. He’s had a lot of offers coming in – he was laughing saying he’s out injured and getting offers left, right and centre. It’s always the way, isn’t it? When you’re in the gym they don’t come. 

“But he’s got a lot of offers on the table, so hopefully there’s still a bright future for him, but first and foremost it’s getting himself back to full health, because Liam Smith in shape and firing is a problem for anybody. He’s been offered something for July – I spoke to him a couple of days ago in the gym – and he was saying he was aiming towards that. Whether it’ll be September, I don’t know, but he’s in now and he’s aiming for July.”

“Honestly, no plans,” responded Callum Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn when he was asked what he expected his fighter to do next. “He’s getting married, and looking at other options. They haven’t been on to me, but they’ll definitely consider a fight.”

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