Billy Joe Saunders-Callum Smith is one of the best fights that can be made within the super middleweight division.
A bout between Saunders, the WBO 168-pound champion, and Smith, who owns the WBA title, also would draw well in England. Eddie Hearn, whose company promotes Saunders and Smith, contends that event could become bigger, which is among the reasons we won’t see them fight anytime soon.
Hearn would prefer matching Saunders (28-0, 13 KOs), whom Matchroom Boxing signed this month, and Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) against other opponents before seriously considering having those unbeaten Brits box each other.
“That’s a fight that we may look at for spring of next year,” Hearn told a group of reporters recently. “Obviously, that’s a fight quite easy to make. But the only one thing I’d say on that is I think they’re both really good, and they’re both with me. And I would quite like to get them bigger fights before they meet to make it the size that it should be for the risk involved. That’s not what fans wanna hear, but that’s the truth. I really feel that’s a great fight, but there’s other fights for both guys that could make that fight monumental, rather than just a big domestic fight.”
Saunders, 29, will remain at 168 pounds for now, but Hearn didn’t rule out the skillful southpaw returning to the middleweight division at some point. Hearn became Gennadiy Golovkin’s co-promoter and a fight against Golovkin, which nearly was scheduled for last August 25, could lure Saunders back down to 160 pounds.
“He’s gonna defend his belt probably in November,” Hearn said of Saunders. “We’ll have a date [this] week. He can move to 160. That’s not a problem. But I feel with Billy, the longer he stays at 168, the more likely he is to stay there. It’s gonna be difficult for him to drop those eight pounds.”
Saunders won the then-unclaimed WBO super middleweight title in his last fight. The former WBO middleweight champ convincingly out-boxed Serbia’s Shefat Isufi (27-4-2, 20 KOs) in that 12-rounder and won a unanimous decision May 18 in Stevenage, England.
Smith, meanwhile, could return to the ring sometime in October, according to Hearn. The 29-year-old Liverpool native most recently demolished Cameroon’s Hassan N’Dam (37-4, 21 KOs) by third-round technical knockout June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York.