Smith, after knockout loss: 'It's time to assess the future'

Former super middleweight world champion Callum Smith succumbed to a second career defeat at the hand of Artur Beterbiev on Saturday at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City. 

The Englishman was stopped in the seventh round having seen the canvas shortly before the stoppage. Smith was no match for the IBF, WBC and WBO light heavyweight world champion, who made it 20 knockouts in 20. 

"I’m disappointed," a battered and bruised Callum Smith said in the televised post fight interview. “I’m used to being the best, and I always work to be the best. To accept that I am not is a hard one to take. 

"But look, the better man won tonight. He stopped me getting in my rhythm, he is good at just touching and touching, stopping you from getting any momentum. I say the better man won tonight.

"His Power? Look, he stopped me, but up until the shot, the knockdown, it wasn’t the power, it was just that he was constantly touching you and stopping you from getting any sort of rhythm and stuff. No excuses, the better man won tonight. My performance wasn’t the best tonight, but he was a good champion. He did what he was meant to do."

Smith did have some success during a difficult night in Quebec. Two of the three judges did have him winning rounds in the second and the sixth. 

"He’s a good fighter, he’s a three weight world champion for a reason," Smith added. "It is a hard one to take. I set the bar very high, I always said I wanted to be the best, I always believed I was the best and now it is hard to accept that I’m not."

Smith was pressed on whether retirement was on the cards following his first knockout defeat. 

"I’ve got an amazing family at home," said Smith. "I give a lot to boxing, I think win or lose I didn’t want to stay in boxing for a long time. Look, I’m not making any decisions but I think it is time to assess the future to see if I got any goals that motivate me to go back to the gym.

"If not, we will see. I’ll spend some time with the family and see what the future holds."