Smith’s Punching Power vs. Beterbiev’s Pressure: Hearn Doubles Down on Upset in Quebec City

By @James_theGrad - 01/12/2024 - Comments

Eddie Hearn isn’t backing away from his prediction of a knockout victory for his ace, Callum Smith, against the unbeaten, steel-chinned unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev on Saturday night in Quebec City.

Hearn acknowledges that Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) is the underdog, and most boxing fans believe he’ll lose, but he knows what he’s capable of doing.

He feels that Beterbiev’s high-pressure fighting style is the ideal type of opponent that the former WBO super middleweight champion Smith thrives on.

Smith’s Counterpunching

Hearn thinks Callum’s left hook counter-punching will result in him catching Beterbiev coming in at some point in the fight to knock him out. He points out that Callum Johnson caught Beterbiev with a counter in the second round of their fight in 2018 and put him down. Johnson didn’t possess nearly the same kind of power or size as Smith.

“When you’re cutting off the ring and forcing the fight, that’s when Callum has his best chance of landing that kind of shot. I know he’s the underdog, but I just really think he’s got a great chance,” said Eddie Hearn to Gareth A. Davies’ YouTube channel, talking about his fighter, Callum Smith’s title shot against IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.

“Artur Beterbiev is a great champion. Perhaps one of the greatest fighters pound-for-pound, but Callum Smith is a very good fighter who hits very hard, especially at the weight at 175 lbs,” Hearn continued.

“Don’t forget at 12 stone [168], he wasn’t the same fighter, he didn’t carry the same power. You look at this two wins at 175, albeit not against the elite guys, but devastating. I just see it, I fancy it, and I think it’s going to be a great fight.

“I do [predict a Smith knockout win]. Beterbiev has a great work rate. It’s going to be difficult to win rounds. One thing. If you step on Callum, that’s his opportunity to land those shots.

“His catch-counter left hook shot is his trademark shot. We’ve seen that with Callum Johnson against Beterbiev. We’ve seen that with Yarde having success with the left hook.

“I’m sure they’ve trained for it, but it happens very quick. When you’re throwing the kind of volume that Artur Beterbiev is throwing, you’re also wide open to getting hit,” said Hearn.

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