Liverpool fan Callum Smith clinched the WBA world title against George Groves in the desert — and set up a dream appearance at Anfield.
In this new era of stadium mega-fights, Smith teed-up his boyhood ambition by achieving the first of his lifetime goals.
Some 3,000 miles from home on a night of Saudi Arabian fantasy, he laid gloved hands on his long-pursued world title, the treasured Ring magazine belt and the Muhammad Ali Trophy for winning the inaugural World Super Series tournament.
Callum Smith won the WBA world title and the Muhammad Ali Trophy in Jeddah on Friday night
He knocked out fellow Brit George Groves in round seven at the King Abdullah Sports City
Not to forget, either, a cheque reputedly for five million dollars.
After this seventh-round knockout victory, Smith is now the No 1 super-middleweight on the planet. So what next for the youngest of Liverpool’s four fighting Smith brothers?
‘Anfield,’ he said, with a smile as wide as the Mersey tunnel. ‘That’s the plan. A fight in my team’s ground. Always cherished the thought of that, too.’
Before the fight, the perceived wisdom was that Smith, 28, might still be a tad short of the big-fight experience to upset Groves.
We were wrong but he did not gloat. He praised Groves by saying that his achievement is all the more satisfying as it came against ‘a great world champion.’
For Smith — in addition to a world title unification fight against one of the other belt-holders in his Liverpool back yard — the world is his Gulf oyster.
Smith, 28, has claimed that he hopes to stage his next fight closer to home — on Merseyside