As statements go, Callum Smith's one-round demolition job on Hadillah Mohoumadi was emphatic.
The English super middleweight (19-0, 14 KOs) treated his home crowd at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, to another knockout win, as he dethroned the visiting European champion in a hurry.
Victory also makes Smith—the youngest of four fighting siblings—the mandatory challenger for the WBC title.
On the undercard, Rocky Fielding—a former Smith opponent—was also victorious.
However, the former Commonwealth super middleweight champion had to work harder than his fellow Liverpudlian, recording a split-decision points win over the durable Christopher Rebrasse.
Here, Bleacher Report picks out some of the key talking points from the action.
Smith has won the English, British and European titles. On each occasion, he picked up the belts inside a round.
In fact, it has taken him a combined total of 439 seconds to knock out Patrick Mendy (English), Fielding (British) and Mohoumadi (European). That’s right—a grand total of seven minutes and 19 seconds.
His latest demolition job came courtesy of his opponent’s odd tactics (plus his ability to hit hard, of course).
Mohoumadi shot out from his corner at the sound of the first bell like he was a man in a rush. Perhaps he actually did have a plane to catch.
It was a brave tactic—that's one way of putting it—as it turned he was on a kamikaze mission.
Perhaps the Frenchman was being paid by the punch. He certainly let a lot of leather go for as long as the bout lasted. Perhaps, though, he just felt his only opportunity to cause an upset was to catch his rival cold early on.
However, in being so aggressive he played right into Smith’s hands (or should that be gloves?).
After covering up to cope with an opening barrage, Mundo made his opponent pay for his reckless ways.
His second punch of the night—a short, jolting left hook—quickly stopped Mohoumadi's onslaught. A pair of right hooks not long after led to a quick finish. KO Kings captured the stoppage:
To put the win into context, Mohoumadi had never previously been stopped in 24 fights as a pro. He took James DeGale—the reigning IBF champion—the full 12 rounds in 2012.
Against Smith, he didn’t even manage to get out of Round 1. It was the kind of win that will have registered on the radar of every other super middleweight around.
Smith’s stunning victory puts him at the front of the queue to challenge for the WBC title.
Badou Jack is the organisation’s current champion. The Swedish-born, American-based 32-year-old is scheduled to defend his crown against Lucian Bute on April 30.
The reaction on Twitter suggested plenty in the boxing industry feel Smith is already better than the rest at 168 pounds:
However, he may have to wait for his opportunity at the WBC strap.
On the same card as Jack’s defence against Bute, IBF king DeGale takes on mandatory challenger Rogelio Medina.
The plan, as DeGale told Sky Sports News HQ (h/t Mike Patterson of Sky Sports) is for the two winners at the D.C. Armory in Washington D.C. to face each other later in the year in a unification bout.
Cruiserweight Tony Bellew believes DeGale is the only man in the division that can cope with Smith, telling Sky Sports (h/t Tim Hobbs of Sky Sports): "He [DeGale] is someone who can pick his way in, out-hustle you. He's a southpaw, he's awkward and also has underrated power himself. He's the full package, Chunky.”
Bellew went on to add that his fellow Liverpudlian would have few problems against current WBO champion Arthur Abraham, or Felix Sturm, who holds the WBA’s Super title.
He might well be right, but an early knockout—which was Smith's 14th stoppage win in 19 fights—always gets people a little giddy.
Did Smith’s latest victory actually reveal anything we didn’t already know?
He already had the size to cause problems for super middleweights (he stands 6’3”). And, as he again demonstrated on Saturday, he carries enough power in both hands to change a bout with one blow.
The true test of his abilities, however, will come in a world-title fight. Considering his record, the other champions outside of the WBC will be in no rush to find out if Smith is the real deal.
A Rocky Road
In his first outing since losing to Smith, Fielding could have taken an easier option than Rebrasse—a former European champion who took George Groves the distance.
After he was stopped by his local rival in Round 1 last time out, Fielding looked in danger of unravelling again when he was dropped by Rebrasse in Round 2, highlights courtesy of NextBritishFight:
However, the 28-year-old came through the storm and managed to squeeze out a split-decision win on the scorecards after a tough 12 rounds.
While one judge had Rebrasse winning 115-113, the other two had it 114-113 to Fielding.
Some, though, suggested on Twitter that the winner had been fortunate with the verdict:
Forget the performance—what mattered for Fielding was getting back to winning ways following his first career setback.
He told Sky Sports afterwards, per Tim Hobbs of Sky Sports: "I've been working so hard in the gym and having such tough sparring with Martin Murray. That's what I had to put into the ring—a bit of grit. I haven't had to dig deep and that fight, I did. I thought I could've boxed better but he's a tough guy."
If Smith disappears into the distance chasing a world title, perhaps his former foe could target the European crown next.
Knockout of the Night
Smith’s quick finish was impressive, but Tom Doran knocking out Luke Keeler in Round 2 was even better, highlights courtesy of NextBritishFight:
After a night in Liverpool, British boxing fans' focus now switches to the capital.
On April 9, at the O2 Arena in London, Anthony Joshua gets the chance to become a world champion in just his 16th professional fight, as the hugely popular heavyweight faces reigning IBF champion Charles Martin.
The pay-per-view bill also sees IBF featherweight champion Lee Selby take on Eric Hunter, while Jamie McDonnell, the WBO's bantamweight titleholder, defends against Juan Alberto Rosas.
Brian Rose and Matthew Macklin meet in an intriguing domestic dust-up at middleweight, while the famous boxing name of Benn also appears on the bill. Conor Benn—the teenage son of two-weight world champion Nigel—will make his professional debut at super lightweight.