“Send Arthur into a knockout blow.” Beterbiev waiting for the first defeat?
Igor Nekrasov May 28, 2023, 18:00 Moscow time
The promoter is confident that Callum Smith is stronger than the Russian superstar.
Undefeated Russian boxer, WBC, WBO and IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev will fight his next fight on August 19. Our compatriot’s opponent will be the British boxer Callum Smith, obligatory contender for the WBC world title.
“I am pleased to announce that on August 19 you will see me back in the ring. My opponent was Callum Smith, the mandatory contender for the WBC title. But all three of my belts will be on the line in this fight. There are several months of preparation ahead, and I hope that everything goes as it should. It will be a glorious fight. See you on August 19, ”Beterbiev wrote on his social network page.
Unfortunately, Russian boxing fans were once again unable to see one of the most anticipated fights of recent years – the unification duel for the title of absolute world light heavyweight champion between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol. The parties could not agree on the financial component, and each again went their own way. Bivol is likely to set up a rematch with Saul Alvarez, while Arthur opted for another title defense, this time against Britain’s Callum Smith.
There will be no big fight – money is to blame. Beterbiev and Bivol did not agree
Both Smith and Beterbiev have amateur backgrounds, but if Arthur won the World Championship and competed in the Olympics, then Callum was limited to winning the British Championship and Commonwealth Games silver. Interestingly, they both turned pro within a year of each other: Smith debuted in 2012, Arthur a year later. But at the same time, the Briton spent 11 more fights than the Russian and has a pretty serious record of 29-1.
Smith is not a natural light heavyweight. In amateur boxing, he competed in the up to 69kg class, while Beterbiev also boxed in the amateurs in the up to 81kg weight class. As a professional, Smith began his career as a super middleweight. He successfully participated in the first season of the World Super Series, winning the Muhammad Ali Cup and becoming the world champion. Smith managed to hold two successful defenses, after which he had to fight Saúl Álvarez. Callum failed the legend test, losing to Canelo by landslide decision.
After losing all of his super middleweight titles, Smith decided to move up in weight. At light heavyweight for two and a half years, he only had two fights: he defeated Dominican Lenin Castillo, and then knocked out Frenchman Mathieu Boderlik and became the WBC mandatory contender.
Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Of course, the British is a talented boxer with good anthropometric data. Smith’s height is 191 cm, his arms span is almost two meters. And for the light heavyweight class, these are strong indicators. But if you remember the fight with Canelo, in that fight Callum failed to use his height advantage in any way. Saul just walked up and beat the Brit. In the same fight, problems with the functional status of the Briton also appeared. If Smith looked decent in the first half of the fight, then the fight turned into a continuous beating, Callum got tired and slowed down.
The Briton has yet to face boxers as forceful as the Russian in his career. No one could withstand Beterbiev’s aggressive pressure and punching tonnage, Arthur taking all 19 wins ahead of schedule. Also, it’s not the first time Beterbiev has boxed a taller opponent. He recalls the duel with Oleksandr Gvozdyk – the Ukrainian had almost the same dimensions as Smith, but this did not bother Artur at all.
British promoter Eddie Hearn has already said that Smith will knock out Beterbiev: “I think Callum Smith will knock out Beterbiev. I am really sure that he will win this fight. Beterbiev is an amazing fighter, but he has holes in his armor. Callum Smith is a great puncher. If he hits his chin with a left hook, he’ll send you into a dead knockout,” Hearn said on the Fight Hub TV YouTube channel.
Sure, Callum has 21 early victories, but he’s faced fighters of Beterbiev’s level only once: he was destroyed by Álvarez, who is 20 centimeters shorter than him. The chances that the skinny Brit will be able to withstand the knockout power of the Russian are extremely small. And maybe only Eddie Hearn can believe that Smith will knock out Beterbiev.
“Beterbiev has become less scary.” Arthur won, but everyone is talking about how old he is!
Beterbiev, 38, is in good shape. Yes, the last fight against Anthony Yarde turned out not to be the most outstanding, but at the same time it ended in the same way as all the previous ones – with an early victory. On August 19, Arthur will come for another head of light heavyweight, and it is unlikely that the Brit will be able to oppose the three-time world champion.