A few notes from around the boxing world:
England’s Callum Smith (18-0, 13 KOs), 25, will fight at the Echo Arena in his hometown of Liverpool when he challenges Hadillah Mohoumadi (20-3-1, 15 KOs), 35, of France, for his European super middleweight title in a fight that is also a world title eliminator for the right to become the mandatory challenger for titleholder Badou Jack, Matchroom Boxing announced on Tuesday. “This is the biggest fight of my career by far,” Smith said. “It’s great that it’s at home at the Echo Arena. My dream is to fight for a world title; win this fight and I am there, so there can be no slipups. He’s a tough fighter and has pedigree so I know I have to be at my best, but I believe with a good camp behind me I will be. Then it’s on to the world title fight and I believe that I can take the title from Jack and hold it for a long time.”
Unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev’s one-sided, seventh-round destruction of former champion Jean Pascal on Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Pascal’s hometown of Montreal averaged 1.179 million for the live airing on HBO and peaked at 1.269 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Kovalev, who was fighting on HBO for the eighth consecutive time, has seen his viewership figures continue to rise. The first heavily promoted fight against Pascal 10 months ago averaged 1.152 million viewers and peaked at 1.2 million. His July mandatory fight against the unknown Nadjib Mohammedi averaged 1.014 million viewers. The co-feature on Saturday, welterweight Dmitry Mikhaylenko’s lopsided 10-round decision win against Karim Mayfield, averaged 701,000 viewers and peaked at 835,000.
Philadelphia super middleweight prospect Jesse Hart will make his 2016 debut when he faces Dashon Johnson (19-18-3, 6 KOs), 28, of Escondido, California, in a scheduled 10-round main event on March 18 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Hart (19-0, 16 KOs), 26, the son of former 1970s middleweight contender Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, will be defending his regional belt. “I’m beyond excited to be fighting in my first main event in front of my hometown fans,” Hart said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.” He has not boxed in Philadelphia since December 2014, when he knocked out Samuel Miller in the second round, also at the 2300 Arena.