Although there has not been news on Callum Smith's next fight, the WBA is taking steps to ensure who Smith will have to face next.
The WBA has ordered Smith, the WBA's "Super" champion at 168 pounds, to fight interim titleholder and mandatory challenger John Ryder. The WBA gave both parties 30 days to negotiate a deal (September 29) or else a purse bid will be ordered to strike a deal. Below is the WBA's order of the fight.
The World Boxing Association (WBA) Championships Committee ordered the fight between the Super Middleweight Super Champion, Briton native Callum Smith, and mandatory challenger John Ryder.
The teams of the fighters received the signed notification from the president of the Committee, Carlos Chavez, to begin negotiations in order to carry out the fight.
Rule number 11 says that the champion must fight the mandatory challenger every nine months from the date he became a champion. In the case of Smith, he won the belt on September 28th of 2018 and the period expired on June 27th of this year. Now, Ryder must be fought, as he earned the right to dispute the belt.
For its part, rule C.13 states that the bearer of the belt cannot fight anyone other than the mandatory challenger in the period within 60 days after the nine month period expires.
Protected by the regulations, the committee notified both parties that they have 30 days to reach an agreement, which will expire on September 29th.
If in that period they cannot agree to the fight, the committee will have the right to send the fight to auction based on the internal regulations of the organization.
Smith became the WBA champion in September 2018 when he traveled to Saudi Arabia and beat George Groves to not only win his first world title but also win the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament. Smith has only made one successful title defense, which was a third-round knockout win over Hassan N'Dam back in June at Madison Square Garden.
Ryder, who has faced the likes of Billy Joe Saunders of Rocky Fielding in the past, has won his last four fights, all inside the distance. Ryder won the interim title in his last fight in May when he stopped Bilal Akkawy in the third round in Las Vegas.