by Arne K. Lang
The city of Liverpool has a second Fab Four. The fighting Smith brothers – Paul, Stephen, Liam, and Callum – will never be as famous as John, Paul, Ringo, and George, but at the moment the brothers are all the rage in U.K. boxing circles, celebrated for the sum of their fistic achievements. Callum Smith demolished Hadillah Mohoumadi at Liverpool’s Echo Arena today (April 2), further embellishing the Smith brothers legacy. In a bout contested for Mohoumadi’s EBU (European) super middleweight title, Smith, now 19-0 (14) needed only 101 seconds to score the ninth Round 1 knockout of his young career. That invites comparisons with the great Joe Calzaghe who stopped seven of his first nine opponents in the opening round.
All four of the brothers won ABA (Amateur Boxing Association of England) titles before turning pro. All four won British titles at the professional level.
The brothers, starting with the oldest, are:
PAUL SMITH — A super middleweight, now 33 years old, Paul has a record of 35-6. A two-time British champion, he has been inactive since being stopped by Andre Ward in June of last year. Although it’s a bit early in the game to draw this opinion, the general feeling is that Paul is the least talented of the foursome. The brothers get incrementally tougher as we move down the chronological ladder.
STEPHEN SMITH – A 30-year-old super featherweight, Stephen is 23-1. On April 16, at the Foxwoods gambling resort in Connecticut, Stephen opposes undefeated Jose Pedroza for the IBF World super featherweight title.
LIAM SMITH – A 27-year-old super welterweight with a 22-0-1 record, Liam is the reigning WBO World super welterweight champion.
CALLUM SMITH – At age 25, Callum is the baby of the bunch. Standing 6’3,” he is conspicuously taller than his brothers, all of whom pinpointed him as the brother whose star figured to shine the brightest. In Hadillah Mohoumadi (20-3-1 going in), Callum destroyed a fighter that hadn’t previously been stopped.
The father of the Smith brothers boxed at the amateur level. Their mother has never seen them fight, in person or on TV, with the exception of one of Paul’s amateur bouts. On fight nights, she customarily calms her jitters by playing bingo. There are two girls in the family, the youngest of which is autistic. All of the Smith brothers have the word “autistic” inscribed on their shorts, a way of calling attention to the need for a better understanding of this neurological disorder.
In his bout prior to meeting Mohoumadi, Callum Smith blew away previously undefeated (21-0) Rocky Fielding in the very first round. Fielding appeared in the semi-main on today’s card in Liverpool. Hoping to get back on the winning track, Fielding almost bit off more than he could chew in the form of Christopher Rebrasse (24-4-3 going in). A sturdy 30-year-old Frenchman who had gone the distance with George Groves and Callum Smith, Rebrasse smashed Fielding to the canvas in the second round, but the Englishman stayed the course and won a split decision. The scores were 114-113, 114-113 for Fielding and 115-112 for Rebrasse.
In other undercard bouts of note, Scott Cardle (19-0-1) and Sean Dodd (10-2-1) boxed to a draw. This was a rematch. In their previous go, Cardle, trailing on two of the scorecards, stopped Dodd in the 12th frame. Most in the audience felt that Dodd deserved the nod. Also, middleweight Tom Duran, now 17-0, stopped Luke Keeler in the second frame.
The youngest Smith brother has several options going forward. The most likely scenario has him fighting the winner of the April 30 match between Badou Jack and Lucian Bute. James DeGale is also on that card, defending his version of the super middleweight title against Mexico’s Rogelio Medina. A match between Callum and DeGale would be an all-England affair. DeGale is 1-0 vs. the Smith tribe. In 2010, he stopped Paul Smith in the ninth round at Liverpool.
Regardless of who’s next, Callum Smith’s name is about to surface in discussions of the next big thing.