Light heavyweight contender Callum Smith was a very interested observer in last Saturday's fight between Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde.

Beterbiev retained his WBC, IBF, WBO world titles with an eight round stoppage of Yarde.

The victory raised Beterbiev's undefeated record to 19-0, with all 19 victories coming inside the distance.

Yarde was the mandatory challenger under the WBO.

Smith, who secured the mandatory spot under the WBC, is next in line for a crack at the unified gold.

He already held a world title at super middleweight, with two knockout victories since moving up to 175-pounds in 2020.

Smith will first take a stay-busy fight in March against a respectable opponent - and then he wants Beterbiev. 

Some observers felt Beterbiev, 38-years-old, was showing a bit of his age in the weekend win over Yarde, who was very competitive and rattled the Russian puncher a few times during the contest.

"I've done my part. I've become mandatory so I can sit and wait and fight for three of the belts. He wants a respectable opponent in the spring - "it's got to be an opponent that makes me want to get into camp, makes me want to train hard" - even though it will be a fight Smith cannot afford to lose. It's a bit of a tricky one. But if I'm good enough to beat Beterbiev, which I believe I am, I should be good enough to beat anyone else I the meantime, as long as I stay focused and motivated," Smith told Sky Sports.

"I believe I can beat anyone on the planet. I believe I can win the belts as well. He's European style, applies pressure but doesn't just race forward, he's clever how he does it and obviously heavy-handed," Smith continued. "He has been hurt, he's been put over twice as a professional and he's not invincible. I've seen other fighters hurt him and put him over, I fully believe I can. I'm in my peak years now and the time to beat him is now."