Callum Smith faces unbeaten Pole Pawel Stepien on March 11 in Liverpool

February 6 2023

Paro vs. Davies Jr and Pacheco vs. Cullen land on action-packed undercard

Callum Smith fights in Liverpool for the first time since 2019 when he faces undefeated world-ranked Pole Pawel Stepien at the top of a stacked card at the M&S Bank Arena on Saturday March 11 that features Liam Paro vs. Robbie Davies Jr and Diego Pacheco vs. Jack Cullen, live worldwide on DAZN (excluding Australia and New Zealand).

The WBC’s No.1 ranked Light-Heavyweight Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) returns home for a must-win clash with the IBF’s No.7 ranked 175-pounder Stepien (18-0-1, 12KOs) as he looks to secure a mouth-watering showdown with unified WBC, WBO and IBF ruler Artur Beterbiev later in the year.

Former WBA and Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight World Champion ‘Mundo’ has won both of his fights at Light-Heavyweight in brutal fashion following a move up in weight after his points loss to pound-for-pound superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez at the Almodome in San Antonio, USA back in December 2020.

The 32-year-old Liverpudlian destroyed Lenin Castillo with a sickening second round KO to return to winning ways on the undercard of the first meeting between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua at the home of Tottenham Hotspur in September 2021 before taking out France’s Mathieu Bauderlique in four rounds just under a year later in Saudi Arabia.

Szczecin’s Stepien remains unbeaten since joining the professional ranks in December 2015, with the only blemish on his 19-fight career being a draw with Marek Matyja in 2019, and the 32-year-old is ranked in the world’s top 15 with the WBO, IBF and WBA – picking up the Polish and IBF Intercontinental Light-Heavyweight Titles in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

A stacked undercard sees Australia’s WBO Global Super-Lightweight Champion Liam Paro (23-0, 14 KOs) put his title on the line against local favourite Robbie Davies Jr (23-3, 15 KOs) following his sensational first-round KO win over fellow Aussie Brock Jarvis at the South Bank Piazza in South Brisbane last October.

One of the hottest prospects in American boxing Diego Pacheco (17-0, 14 KOs) looks to impress on his first appearance in the UK, stepping-up against Little Lever’s Jack Cullen (21-3-1, 9 KOs) in what promises to be an all-action battle for the WBO International Super-Middleweight Title.

The prize waiting for me should I win means you’ll be seeing the best from me on March 11

- Callum Smith

Romford Heavyweight sensation Johnny Fisher (7-0, 6 KOs) takes ‘The Romford Bull’ Army to Liverpool for the first time as he faces Italy’s Alfonso Damiani (6-2, 2 KOs) over eight rounds and local Light-Heavyweight Thomas Whittaker Hart (7-1, 3 KOs) aims to avenge his first loss against Darewn’s Mickey Ellison (14-4, 5 KOs) in a rematch for the Central Area Title.

Warrington Lightweight talent Rhiannon Dixon (7-0) squares off with Wombourne’s Vicky Wilkinson (5-0-1) for the Commonwealth Title and Oldham’s Aqib Fiaz (10-0) takes on Yeovil’s Dean Dodge (9-2-1, 3 KOs) over eight rounds at Super-Featherweight, plus there’s action for Hyde’s Campbell Hatton (9-0, 3 KOs), Chester Middleweight Paddy Lacey (7-0, 1 KO) and Billericay Middleweight George Liddard (1-0, 1 KO).

“Pawel Stepien is just what I need going into the Artur Beterbiev fight,” said Smith. “He hasn’t ever tasted defeat and he’s ranked in the top 15 by 3 governing bodies. He is certainly no walkover and I know I can’t afford to make any mistakes. The prize waiting for me should I win means you’ll be seeing the best from me on March 11.”

“We always love returning to Liverpool for one of the best atmospheres in the UK, and we’ve got a stacked card from top to bottom for you all on March 11, said Matchroom Sport Chairman Eddie Hearn. “Callum Smith can’t afford any slip-ups against Pawel Stepien – he’s next in line to face unified World Champion Artur Beterbiev and that’s a fight I really fancy him in if he gets past the unbeaten Pole.

“We’re spoilt for choice with this cracking undercard, Liam Paro looked sensational last time out and Robbie Davies Jr finally gets the big fight he’s been craving. Diego Pacheco against Jack Cullen can only be fireworks and ‘The Romford Bull’ Army are going to be bringing all the noise for Johnny Fisher! Thomas Whittaker-Hart can’t afford another loss this early in his career and there’s so much more on offer. Watch it all live around the world on DAZN.”

Tickets for Smith vs. Stepien are priced £40, £60, £100, £150 and £300 (VIP).

Matchroom Fight Pass members will be able to purchase tickets from midday on Tuesday February 7. Priority ticket info will be emailed directly to eligible members ahead of the on-sale time.

General Sale tickets can be purchased via Stage Front and the M&S Bank Arena from midday on Wednesday February 8.