By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Callum Smith annihilated Hassan N’Dam on Saturday night.
The unbeaten British super middleweight dropped N’Dam three times and beat him by third-round technical knockout on the Anthony Joshua-Andy Ruiz Jr. undercard at Madison Square Garden. Liverpool’s Smith (26-0, 19 KOs) knocked down N’Dam once apiece in first, second and third rounds.
Referee Charlie Fitch stopped the bout at 2:56 of the third round, after a disoriented N’Dam got up from that third knockdown.
“I felt good,” Smith said. “It felt good to be back in there. … I believe I’m the best in the world and I plan on proving that over the next couple of years. And I’ve got no injuries. A good, quick win, a fan-friendly win, and I hope the fans liked it. And I’ll be able to be back out soon and push on to bigger and better things.”
The heavily favored Smith made the first defense of the WBA “super” 168-pound title he won from George Groves in his previous fight. Liverpool’s Smith knocked out England’s Groves (28-4, 20 KOs) in the seventh round of the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight final September 28 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The 35-year-old N’Dam (37-4, 21 KOs) lost by technical knockout for the second time in his past three fights. N’Dam, a Monte Carlo resident raised in Cameroon, fought at the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds for the first time in five fights.
Smith’s overhand right nailed N’Dam and knocked him flat on his back with 15 seconds to go in the third round. N’Dam managed to get to his for the third time in as many rounds, but Fitch realized N’Dam shouldn’t continue and stopped their scheduled 12-round fight.
For the second time in as many rounds, a left hook by Smith sent N’Dam to the canvas 30 seconds into the second round. The resilient N’Dam got up again, gathered himself and made it to the end of the second round.
A left hook caught an exposed N’Dam and knocked him to the seat of his trunks with 24 seconds to go in the first round. N’Dam got up by the count of five, but clearly was disoriented.
N’Dam went down again – this time to his gloves and knees – just before the first round ended. Fitch rightly rule that Smith pushed him to the canvas, though.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.