European supermiddleweight champion Stefan Haertel (18-1) keeps calling out WBA super champion Callum Smith (26-0) in German media.
„I said it before and I‘ll say it again: If I could pick my next opponent it would be Callum Smith“, said Haertel. „Most people may not know but we have a history.“ Haertel claims he beat Smith twice when they were still amateurs. „I went to the Olympics 2012 in London, he didn‘t. I‘m sure that hurts.“ While Haertel may have been the better amateur, Smith has had the better pro career so far, winning the World Boxing Super Series in 2018. Haertel also said that he had almost faced Smith during the tournament. „I signed a contract as back-up for the WBSS in case any fighter got injured or had to pull out for other reasons“, said Haertel. „When Braehmer couldn‘t fight Smith I was offered his spot. But instead of the 750.000 Euros I was guaranteed in the contract, they only wanted to pay 250.000. So I said: ‚No, thank you.‘“ Haertel emphasized that he doesn‘t regret any of the decisions he made during his career: „Everything I did took me to where I am now. And I am pretty happy with who I am and where I stand in life. We‘ll see what happens next.“ Although he wants the Smith fight, Haertel doesn‘t think it will happen anytime soon. „As far as I know my promoter already reached out to Eddie Hearn but he didn‘t even respond“, said Haertel. „I cannot blame him though. From a promoter‘s standpoint I probably wouldn‘t make the fight either. You always want your fighter to win instead of risking to lose.“