Artur Beterbiev coach on Callum Smith: He’s “the best boxer we’ve faced”

By Boxing News - 06/04/2023 - Comments

By Charles Brun: Artur Beterbiev’s coach Marc Ramsay raves about his next opponent Callum Smith, saying he’s the “best boxer” the unbeaten unified light heavyweight champion will have faced during his career. Is this a classic example of false flattery on Ramsay’s part?

If he’s being genuine, it’s a huge compliment that Ramsay is giving the 33-year-old Smith, especially given that he’s never beaten anyone of actual ability to suggest that he deserves that high praise.

Smith’s best non-controversial career win came against George Groves in 2018, with him coming off shoulder surgery, which left him a one-armed fighter.

There’s little chance that Smith would have beaten Groves before his career-ending shoulder injury.

Against a prime Groves, Smith likely would have shelled up against the ropes and been bombarded all night, as we saw in his fights against Canelo Alvarez and John Ryder.

You hate to say it, but the stork-like 6’3″ Callum Smith does NOT react well to pressure. He hates it and wilts like a flower when faced with adversity.

Beterbiev’s best opponents:

  • Oleksandr Gvozdyk
  • Joe Smith Jr
  • Callum Johnso
  • Adam Deines
  • Radivoje Kalajdzic
  • Ezequiel Maderna
  • Anthony Yarde
  • Marcus Browne

Smith (29-1, 21 KOs), who appeared to cower when faced with pressure against John Ryder and Canelo Alvarez, is IBF/WBA/WBC 175-lb champion Beterbiev’s WBC mandatory and will challenge him on August 19th on ESPN at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City.

The Eddie Hearn-promoted Smith is getting this title shot against Beterbiev after beating Mathieu Bauderlique. That was Smith’s second win since losing to Canelo Alvarez in a one-sided loss in 2021.

Smith moved up to 175 after that loss, perhaps realizing that for him to get another world title shot at 168, he’d have to go through David Benavidez, and that wouldn’t have worked out for him.

Faced with having to go through a murderer’s row of talents, like Benavidez, David Morrell Jr, Caleb Plant, and Demetrius Andrade, to earn a lucrative rematch against Canelo, Smith fled to 175 rather than staying at 168 to run the gauntlet against those killers.

“At the moment, there is no slowdown in the gym. We do not see it in terms of its metabolism and terms of its performance either. As long as it goes well like that, we will continue to drive with it,” said trainer Marc Ramsay to the Quebec Journal about whether the 38-year-old Artur Beterbiev is nearing the end of his career.

“Callum Smith is the best boxer we’ve faced. Smith has a lot of skill, speed, and power. It’s a tough fight but a fascinating challenge for us.”

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