Callum Smith needed less than one round to settle the latest Liverpool derby in a cross city match up against fellow Liverpool favourite Rocky Fielding. In front of a sold out Echo arena, a stunned crowd witnessed a ferocious Smith dismantle the incredibly capable Fielding with frightening ease.
The build up to the event had been surprisingly low key with both fighters displaying high levels of mutual respect to one another, leaving the trainers to battle it out in the war of the words. Fielding’s trainer Oliver Harrison took objection to the suggestion from Joe Gallagher that his charge, Smith, was at a far superior level to his man. In the end it was Gallagher’s words that carried through on their promise.
With both fighters stripped off, rehydrated and receiving the referee’s instructions in the centre of the ring the difference in size between both men was clear. Smith who possesses the physique of a light heavyweight looked enormous compared to the shorter and slimmer Fielding.
The intent was clear and Smith had Fielding in trouble with the first clean right hand that landed, resulting in a trip to the canvas for Fielding seconds later after receiving a vicious left hook. Fielding rose at six and looked ok to continue. Two more trips to the canvas however and referee Phil Edwards rightly called a halt to proceedings.
In between knockdowns Fielding bravely fought back and landed quality shots of his own and deserves immense credit for the courage shown against a world class, big puncher like Smith.
The victor should enjoy his moment having created a piece of boxing history by becoming the fourth brother to win a British title, before a potential super fight against WBC champion Badou Jack. Rocky should regroup and consider what happens next, losing to the rampant Smith is clearly no disgrace and any talk of hanging up should be swept away, past champions have come back from worse afflictions and so can Fielding.