Liverpudlian super-middleweight Callum Smith has one eye on a huge 2020 stadium fight at Anfield, should he get past fellow Brit John Ryder at the Echo Arena on November 23.
Speaking to Sky Sports, the 29-year-old said: “It’s been mentioned for a long time, and to be honest, I never really thought it would be possible and I’m in a position now where it’s possible.
“It looks like it’s very close to happening providing I win on November 23 - that’s a lot of motivation for me.
It would be a huge night for the city.
Smith’s promoter, Eddie Hearn confirmed that talks with last season’s Champions League winners are underway: “We were with Liverpool Football Club recently with Callum Smith and [Sky Sports Boxing pundit] Adam Smith, trying to plan a May event for Callum.
“All this is taken into consideration that, presumably, he beats John Ryder but I think people see Callum as a stand-out favourite in most fights in the division but John Ryder’s in great form.”
As for an opponent to share a ring with, Hearn believes there’s no shortage of opposition for Smith at the moment:
“Callum Smith in 2020 is looking at all the career-defining fights. Obviously, we have [WBO Champion] Billy Joe Saunders, now with Matchroom and on Sky - that’s a unification fight that could be made quite easily. You’ve got [WBC Champion] David Benavidez, which is a fight we’ve written to the WBC and requested them to order now."
The Matchroom boss insisted that any Anfield dreams for Smith will be put on hold until after his showdown with Ryder, he added: “2020’s going to be great but as we know in boxing, anything can happen and full focus is on him on the 23rd, but certainly 2020 leads to massive fights for Callum Smith."
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Elsewhere on the November 23 card, Liverpool heavyweight David Price returns following a stunning stoppage of David Allen in July and says he isn’t going anywhere just yet:
"Initially after the fight, I was like 'right, I can get a big fight now and cash out'. But then, after a week or so, I was like, it's not the time to cash out yet. If I can play my cards right, and continue to perform, I can go further but not only that, it adds to the story which is already quite interesting.
"I could sit down with anyone and tell them the story of my career. I've had some ups and downs. I've had interesting things happen to me. You could write a book about it, but now I'm glad I've got the opportunity to fight on the Matchroom show, live on Sky Sports.”