Saturday night in Leeds, it was another short night for Liverpool super-middleweight Callum Smith, but his third-round stoppage of Rafael Sosa Pintos was merely a tune-up for his WBC eliminator against Nikola Sjekloca next month.
Smith once again boxed with authority and poise against a smaller and vastly inferior opponent, and it was a set of stinging body shots that eventually did the trick, in what will be Smith’s last easy night’s work.
Smith’s promoter Eddie Hearn now sees the youngster really stepping up his game, and possibly fighting for a world title sometime next year if everything goes to plan.
“We've made a huge fight for him against Sjekloca, an eliminator for the WBC title,” Hearn told Sky Sports at ringside.
“Tonight was a routine victory, the hands are fine and he moves on to that huge fight on the 22nd (of November). Next summer he will be ready for the WBC title, whoever has got it - hopefully George Groves.”