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‘It’s time to assess the future’ – Callum Smith to ponder next step after Artur Beterbiev defeat

Callum Smith admitted he will ‘assess’ his in-ring future following a TKO defeat to Artur Beterbiev last Saturday night.

The 33-year-old was hopeful of taking out the unbeaten Russian and becoming the IBF, WBC and WBO light-heavyweight champion.

Instead, it was Beterbiev who turned on the style and produced a spectacular display to pick up a seventh-round victory.

“I’m disappointed,” Smith told Sky Sports after the fight. “I’m used to being the best. I believed I was the best and to accept that I’m not is a hard one to take.

“The better man won tonight. He stopped me getting into my rhythm. He’s good at just touching, touching and he stopped me getting any momentum.”

Smith added: “He’s a bit like my brother Liam. He’s just always constantly touching, it’s just that his touching is a little bit harder. He’s stopped me but up until the knockdown I didn’t feel anything power wise.

“It’s more that he’s constantly touching you and stopping you getting any sort of rhythm. No excuses. The better man won tonight. My performance wasn’t the best but he’s a good champion. He turned up and done what he’s meant to do.”

Smith entered last Saturday’s bout with a 29-1 record, only losing to Canelo Alvarez by unanimous decision back in 2020.

Mundo went on to pick up impressive victories over Gilbert Castillo Rivera and Mathieu Bauderlique before challenging Beterbiev.

Smith admitted he is now pondering his future in the sport. He said: “I’ve always set the bar very high. I’ve always wanted to be the best. I’ve always believed I was the best and now it’s hard to take that I’m not.

“I’ve got an amazing family at home. I gave a lot to boxing. I think win or lose, I didn’t want to stay in boxing for a long time. I’m not making any decisions but it’s time to assess the future and see if I’ve got any goals that motivate me to go back to the gym. If not, we’ll see.

“I’m going to go and spend time with my family. I’ve been a little bit quiet over Christmas. I’ve got two little ones at home and I’ve missed them this week so I’m going to go and spend some time with my family and then we’ll see what the future holds.”

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