Beterbiev will wear down Smith to score early knockout says Tim Bradley

By Boxing News - 06/15/2022 - Comments

By Sam Volz: Tim Bradley is predicting an early knockout win for IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev when he fights the heavy hitter WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. this Saturday, June 18th, at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Bradley feels that the two-time Olympian Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) will have too much firepower for Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) and be worn down from the steady pressure that’s put on him.

Although Beterbiev has been forced to go into the later rounds to score knockouts in his last three fights, he will need to fight at a faster pace on Saturday due to Smith’s power and all-out fighting style.

In Beterbiev’s last title defense against his WBC mandatory Marcus Browne, he started slowly and let the American have some success in the first four rounds. This led to Beterbiev suffering a nasty cut over his forehead.

The cut woke Beterbiev up, causing him to fight like a man possessed, attacking Browne with a vengeance before stopping him in the ninth round.

Three belts will be on the line for the Beterbiev-Smith fight, and the winner will be in a position to fight for the undisputed 175-lb championship, possibly this year against WBA champion Dmitry Bivol.

Beterbiev vs. Smith will be shown on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET.

“Beterbiev knows how to break down his opponents down, and I think he’s going to break Smith down and get him out early,” said Tim Bradley to ESPN on Saturday’s headliner between the two light heavyweight champions. “This fight is not going to go past six rounds.”

In the chief support bout, featherweight Robeisy Ramirez (9-1, 5 KOs) takes on the most formidable challenge of his three-year pro career against Abraham Nova (21-0, 15 KOs) in a 10-round contest.

Top Rank will find out in this fight if they made the right decision in signing the two-time Olympic gold medalist Robeisy in 2019 because if he loses here, it’s a signal that he’s not cut out for the pro ranks.

While Robeisy was an outstanding amateur, he’s not looked as impressive in the professional ranks, shockingly losing his first fight against Adan Gonzales and struggling to beat him in their rematch in June 2020.

The unbeaten Puerto Rican, Nova, is a demanding customer, and he might be a step too far for Robeisy. Nova is coming off an eighth-round knockout over 2012 Olympian William Encarnación. The way Nova looked in that fight, he could be too challenging for Robeisy at this point in his career.

Beterbiev – Smith undercard

Robeisy Ramirez vs. Abraham Nova
Bruce Carrington vs. Adrian Leyva
Jahi Tucker vs. D’Andre Smith
Floyd Diaz vs. Daniil Platonovschi
Troy Isley vs. Donte Stubbs
Kieran Molloy vs. Jonathan Ryan Burrs
Wendy Toussaint vs. Asinia Byfield
Jahyae Brown vs. Keane McMahon

YouTube video