Callum Smith believes he has the finishing ability to stop Artur Beterbiev .
The former super middleweight champion is in preparation for his pending mandatory fight against WBC, IBF and WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.
The fight was originally scheduled to take place last summer, but was postponed after Artur Beterbiev suffered a serious bone infection in his jaw. These two fighters will finally meet in Quebec City on January 13th.
Many say that Beterbiev is inactive, but Smith has actually been more inactive than the champion in recent years. Appearing only twice since suffering the only defeat of his career; a decision defeat to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in the 76.2 kilogram unification fight in 2020.
He moved up to light heavyweight after the defeat and managed to knockout Gilbert Castillo Rivera and Mathieu Bauderlique. This inactivity doesn’t seem to bother Smith.
At 33 years old and having been a professional boxer for 11 years, the Liverpudlian knows his body and knows exactly how to prepare for big fights. He has studied Beterbiev for years and believes he knows how to annoy the Canadian-born Russian. “This is an interesting fight. That’s what I’m in the world of boxing for, to win the world title,” Smith told Boxing Social.
“I can win three titles if I win this fight. It’s a very big fight for me, but it’s a fight I’ve always liked. I’ve known Artur Beterbiev for a long time. I know his style and I feel it fits quite well with his style I. I think from a neutral point of view, this is a pretty interesting fight.”
The only current world champion to have a 100% knockout ratio, undefeated Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) remains a fearsome opponent, but the 38-year-old has been plagued by injuries and has cut weight since beating Tavoris Cloud in 2014.
He also showed signs of vulnerability. Callum Johnson knocked him out in the opening round of their fight in 2018 and Anthony Yarde dragged him into an action-packed fight in January. Beterbiev ultimately won both fights via stoppage, but Smith believes that while his British rival could hurt Beterbiev, he has the ability to stop him.
“A lot of people say he’s a beast. Part of it is, 19 fights with 19 knockouts. He’s got a great record and his accomplishments speak for themselves, but he’s been injured twice and he gets hit quite often,” Smith said.
“He’s not a fighter that’s difficult to understand and hard to hit. I see some ways that I believe I can win. If someone is there for me to hit, I’m very confident I can hurt them and when I see other fighters hurt them, I’m very confident can do the same thing. I’m going out there with full confidence that if I push him, I’ll hurt him and if I hurt him, I’m sure I can get rid of him.”