Callum Smith knocks down Hassan N'Dam three times and defends WBA super-middleweight title

Callum Smith celebrates his triumph
Callum Smith celebrates his triumph

Callum Smith eased to the first defence of his WBA super-middleweight title by stopping Cameroon's Hassan N'Dam in three rounds at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The 29-year-old had not fought for nine months since so impressively retiring George Groves to become champion, but against a potentially-awkward opponent, he once again excelled.

N'Dam, 35 and a former world middleweight champion, was considered to possess not only the experience but the ability to frustrate Smith, but he suffered knockdowns in each of the opening two rounds before the stoppage followed in the third.

It was with a powerful counter left hook, landed flush on N'Dam's chin, with which he secured the first knockdown towards the end of the first round, leaving his challenger at risk of an imminent knockout.

The same punch again ensured a further knockdown in the second before, in the third, an equally-powerful right sent him down even more heavily when, though he returned to his feet, referee Charlie Fitch waved the action over after two minutes and 56 seconds.

If Smith again suggested he is the world's finest super-middleweight, his compatriot Joshua Buatsi again demonstrated his exceptional promise as a light-heavyweight by earlier stopping Mexico's Marco Antonio Periban in four.

The similarly-talented welterweight Josh Kelly suffered his first blemish as a professional when he drew over 10 rounds with Ray Robinson, after a score of 96-94 in his favour was overruled by two further scores of 95-95.

There was also a defeat for Tommy Coyle, whose trainer Jamie Moore rightly withdrew him at the end of eight rounds at light-welterweight against Chris Algieri.

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