Artur Beterbiev is “vulnerable” says Paul Smith, believes Callum beats him

By Boxing News - 07/02/2023 - Comments

By Sean Jones: Paul Smith believes his brother Callum will send the “vulnerable” IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev down to his first career defeat next month when they battle on August 19 at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City.

If Callum (29-1, 21 KOs) can defeat Beterbiev, it would be a major victory, and it would put him in a position to face WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed championship or possibly Canelo Alvarez if he fancies a rematch.

As the WBC mandatory, Smith wouldn’t need to give Beterbiev a rematch if he’s victorious on August 19th. He could move on and face Bivol or Canelo if those guys were available.

Like many, Paul spotted a vulnerability in the recent performance from the unbeaten 38-year-old Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) against Anthony Yarde last January in London, England.

Yarde went all out in the first seven rounds, expending a lot of energy in building up a lead on two of the judges’ cards, but by the eighth, he had nothing left and was knocked out by the patient Beterbiev.

At the stoppage, Yardee was ahead 68-65, 67-66, with the third judge scoring it 67-66 for Beterbiev.

It’s going to be more difficult for Callum Smith to duplicate the early success that Yarde enjoyed because he tends to fight at a slow pace and doesn’t enjoy exchanges with his opponents. Callum does well when his opponents are hesitant to let their hands go.

Callum’s best career wins:

– George Groves
– John Ryder
– Erik Skoglund
– Lenin Castillo
– Mathieu Bauderlique
– Rocky Fielding
– Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam
РChristopher Rebrassé
– Hadillah Mohoumadi

Callum Smith has the power to upset Beterbiev

“Yeah, it sounds a bit silly, but I’m very confident. I’ve been saying this since day one because it’s my brother. I’m obviously going to back him and not say he’s going to lose,” said Paul Smith to Secondsout, about his belief that Callum Smith will defeat IBF, WBA & WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev on August 19.

“It becomes a pretty pointless question, but I’m always going to give the same answer because I’m very, very confident from what I’ve seen of Callum and what I’ve seen of Beterbiev.

“Beterbiev is a monster if you let him. He’s vulnerable, and if he’s vulnerable and he’s in there with someone like Callum, can punch like Callum, and has the timing, accuracy, the brain, the smartness of Callum, then I’m very, very confident.

“I don’t think there’s a better time. So we have to take that as a positive,” said Smith when asked if Beterbiev’s recent less than spectacular performance against Anthony Yarde last January suggests that he’s showing signs of age at 38-year-old.

“Everyone keeps talking bout the Yarde fight. I watched it. I think it’s a bit of a false reading for me. Anthony Yarde came up in those first six to eight rounds, and that was all he’s got. You can’t fight a twelve round fight that way.

Smith must pace himself

“You can’t win the first seven or eight rounds and then get stopped in the ninth and think it was a great effort. You’re not going to maintain. That’s the thing with Beterbiev.

“He knows he can outlast a lot of these people because he’s relentless. But Calum has got them smarts and that engine and the fitness to do twelve. His fitness and work rate has never been in question, and that’ll be the case in this fight.

“I believe it’s going to catch fire early, and it’s going to be a shoot out, and whoever is the better technical boxer and can land the better shots and the more confidence, as I’ve said time and time again.

“With Callum’s defense and Callum’s punching power. Beterbiev has been down before. Callum hasn’t. The people that have put Beterbiev down, I’d back Callum’s power against all of them. I’m quietly confident.

“I am, but I understand how the game works,” said Smith when asked if he’s disappointed that the Beterbiev vs. Callum fight isn’t taking place in Liverpool, England, rather than Quebec City on August 19th. “It was a purse bid, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It was a purse bid, and it was lost by fifteen thousand dollars.

“I’m sure Callum will relish going in there and winning a world title away from home again like he did with his first one [against George Groves in 2018 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia],” said Paul.

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