In a highly anticipated match-up between a pair of unbeaten super-middleweight prospects, Callum Smith has destroyed fellow Liverpudlian Rocky Fielding in less than a round.
There was so much on the line in this Merseyside battle. Not only did someone’s “0” have to go, not only was there a lofty ranking with the WBC on the line, not only was the vacant British title up for grabs, but the winner of this fight would also have serious bragging rights in the fighter’s mutual hometown.
With so much pressure on each fighter, and with both men possessing serious punching-power, one might have expected a tentative opening round.
It turned out to be anything but.
Both boxers strode purposefully towards the centre of the ring at the opening bell, but crucially it was Smith that landed the first big shot – a right-hand that dropped Fielding inside the opening 30-seconds. Fielding would make it back to his feet, however Smith never gave him a chance to recover. He attacked his foe with unyielding ferocity along the ropes, nailing him with big shots to the head and body. Rocky showed immense bravery to stay in the line of fire and even seemed to momentarily stun his assailant amidst the onslaught.
Eventually, though, Fielding was caught with a massive left-hook to the top of the head that dropped him heavily. He once again clawed his way back to an upright position, but this time the 28-year-old’s legs were gone and it wasn’t long before he found himself back on the canvas.
Although he somehow managed to rise for a third time, the referee had seen enough and rightfully called a halt to proceedings.
With the win Smith progresses to 18-0 with 13 wins coming by way of stoppage, while Fielding drops to 21-1.
Much has been said about the 25-year-old Smith’s potential, but with a performance like this in what should have been his sternest test to date he has justified much of the hype.
Expect big things from this young man.