Featured image: Via Top Rank Boxing on X.
One year on from his eight-round war with Anthony Yarde, Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) defends his WBC, IBF and WBO light heavyweight titles against Liverpool’s Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) in Quebec City in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Beterbiev showed the UK why he is called “The Beast” against Yarde, but this is something he has done his entire career having won all his 19 professional contests by knockout.
The Russian showed shades of Ivan Drago at todays press conference when he was asked if he would keep the knockout streak going, saying, “I do what they tell me.”
Smith has been tipped to cause an upset by many as they believe inactivity and Father Time have caught up with “The Beast” as the 38-year-old has not boxed since that war in Wembley.
“He’s a three-belt champion so his achievements speak for themselves, but I believe in myself… I believe the best version of me beats anyone in the world,
“The times is now; I am ready to become a two-division world champion.” said Smith at today’s press conference.
Beterbiev has been the king of the light heavyweight division for over six years and with a win should get his long-awaited undisputed showdown with Dimitry Bivol.
The Scouser is hoping to rip up the script and become a two-division world champion after losing his super middleweight championship to Canelo Alvarez three years ago.
“I needed to be better, I needed to make changes after it, I changed my set up, I changed my weight division, I changed my mind set and outlook on the sport.
“The main goal is to become world champion in a new weight division, and I’ve put the work in over the last three years since that fight,
“My next fight is for three world titles and it’s an opportunity I’m not planning on letting slip… the best version of me beats Artur Beterbiev.” said Smith.
The former world champion has been on a roll since joining forces with trainer Buddy McGirt winning both of his contests with viscous knockouts.
McGirt said, “He’s underrated, a lot of people underestimate him and he’s going to showcase what he can really do on Saturday night.”
“Mundo” is part of the famous fighting Smith brothers alongside former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith and world title challengers Paul “Smigga” Smith and Stephen “Swifty” Smith.
Smith thinks having his brothers around during fight week has helped him prepare for the huge challenge this weekend.
“Its beneficial to have three fighters who know what you’re going through… they know when to leave me alone, when to support me,
“We’ve had a lot of success and hopefully this weekend we can add more success for the family.”
Fans can watch the eagerly anticipated fight between Beterbiev and Smith on Sky Sports from 1am Sunday morning.
Maloney makes first defence against Sanchez
On the undercard Australian Jason Maloney (26-2, 19 KOs) makes his first defence of his WBO bantamweight world title taking on American Saul Sanchez (20-2, 12 KOs).
Maloney finally achieved his dream of becoming world champion in his last contest against Vincent Astrolabio after falling short against Emmanuel Rodriguez and P4P king Naoya Inoue.
Sanchez comes into the contests looking to cause an upset having won five of his last eight contests by knockout.
This could turn out to be the fight of the night as the two hard punching bantamweights lock horns before the main event.