Callum Smith says he must perform in his televised clash with Vladine Biosse on July 12 in order to justify his reputation as one of boxing’s rising stars.
The super-middleweight defends his WBC International title live on Sky Sports at the Echo Arena in Liverpool as he looks to extend his perfect record to 12 wins.
The 24-year-old caught the eye in 2013 after a run of six successive first round wins, but Smith insists he has a long way to go before being regarded as one of the world’s hottest prospects.
“I think I have a lot to do but it’s nice to be named as one to watch,” said Smith.
“I don’t believe I am the hottest prospect in world boxing as there are some great young fighters out there, but I must be doing something right if people are talking about me in that way.
“You are only as good as your last performance and if I am poor against Biosse then the same people who think I am one of the ones to watch will say I’m not as good as they thought.
“I just need to keep working hard in the gym and listening to my trainer Joe Gallagher and just beating whoever Eddie (Hearn) puts in front of me.”
Smith believes tricky southpaw Biosse will present a sterner test than some of the opponents he has faced in the last 18 months.
“I saw his last fight, he’s an experienced southpaw and another step up for me which is what I wanted to end the season with,” said Smith.
“I’m looking to perform well again and it looks like a distance fight for me. He’s only been stopped three times in 20 fights and last time out against J’Leon Love he went to the tenth round so it looks like it could go a few rounds.
“I like the early KOs but I do think that I need to get some rounds and he’s been brought in for that reason.
“In boxing one punch can change a fight and that has been the case with me. He’s a southpaw so it might take me a few rounds to get used to him and he’s been around so it’s good experience for me.”
Smith’s clash with Biosse is part of an action-packed card which features fellow Liverpudlian Tony Bellew fighting Julio Cesar Dos Santos and Nathan Cleverly taking on Alejandro Valori.
Anthony Joshua is also on the bill against Matt Skelton along with Luke Campbell, Anthony Ogogo and Rocky Fielding.