Tonight’s Live Boxing Results: Beterbiev vs. Smith

By Bob Smith - 01/13/2024 - Comments

In the fight between Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith, expectations of an upset due to Beterbiev’s age, inactivity, and recent jaw surgery were unmet. Beterbiev, true to form, focused on landing powerful shots from the start, overpowering Smith.

The “Russian tank” maintained his dominance, leading to Smith’s defeat in the seventh round. Smith, displaying bravery but outmatched, faced two heavy knockdowns, ultimately succumbing to Beterbiev’s relentless offense. The outcome was a decisive victory for Beterbiev, with Smith’s resilience evident despite the loss.

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B24 will be giving live updates & results below.

  • In the co-feature bout, super middleweight contender Christian Mbilli (26-0, 22 KOs) scored a sixth round stoppage victory over Rohan Murdock (27-3, 19 KOs). Murdock’s corner pulled the plug on the fight after the sixth round due to the punishment that he’d absorbed. Mbilli had the 31-year-old Murdock hurt with uppercuts on the inside in the sixth. Murdock was also hurt in the fifth round, as he was out on his feet after getting nailed with a storm of hard power shots from Mbilli. The engine on the French fighter Mbilli was enormous. “My goal is to fight Canelo. I will do everything I can to fight Canelo,” said Mbilli. It looked like Mbilli slowed up on his attack of Murdock in the sixth round after hurting him in the sixth. In the final seconds of the round, Mbilli turned it on and hurt Murdock once again. After the round, Murdock’s corner chose to stop it. Surprisingly, Murdock still wanted to fight, but he had no chance of winning and his corner did the right thing.
  • WBO bantamweight champion Jason Moloney (27-2, 19 KOs) retained his title with a beautiful war, defeating Saul Sanchez (20-3, 12 KOs). The scores were 116-112, 116-112 Moloney, and 114-114. This writer had it scored 114-114 even, as it was impossible to separate the two. Moloney, 33, was cut from a clash of heads on the side of his right eye in the fourth. Sanchez hurt Moloney with huge uppercuts in rounds six, seven, eight, and nine. Moloney came on in the eleventh and twelfth to get the better of the action with activity against a tired Sanchez. Still, Saul landed the harder shots in both rounds, but Moloney outworked.

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Artur Beterbiev will have his three light heavyweight belts on the line tonight against big-punching, upset-minded Callum Smith in this Top Rank-promoted show. There’s much on the line for the fight, with the winner to battle for the undisputed 175-lb championship in Saudi Arabia.

In the chief support bout, Christian Mbilli battles Rohan Murdock for tonight’s event, beginning at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+. The preliminary card begins at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

“If he lets Beterbiev come into the front door and doesn’t put that jab on him to keep it at the middle distance, he’s going to get chewed up like everybody else,” said Chris Algieri to ProBox TV about tonight’s fight between IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith.

“Beterbiev, he’s not a one-punch guy. He’s a break you down, snap your nose, break your rib, beat you into submission type of fighter. We saw that in the Marcus Browne fight. He was hitting him everywhere, up and down, and Marcus Browne is a very talented guy.

“He’s a fantastic fighter, and Beterbiev was able to break him down. Marcus Browne is also a tough, strong, and durable guy. Beterbiev was still able to beat that drum and get him out of there.

“Like I said, he’s not a one-punch guy. If you let him [Beterbiev] get inside, once he’s a nightmare. He doesn’t stop punching, he doesn’t get tired, he’s a machine, letting both hands go high and low. He picks his punches really well. He’s a precision puncher in everything is hard.

“If Smith can’t establish that middle distance and punch on the way in and try and catch Beterbiev coming in, it’s going to be a long night or a short, depending on how you look at it,” said Algieri.

Durability and physicality

“It depends on your durability, too. The guys that have been able to sustain a long beating from Beterbiev are guys that have a bit more durability,” said Paulie Malignaggi.

“I remember working a fight of Beterbiev earlier in his career against some light heavyweight from Spain [Ezequiel Maderna]. He put this guy to sleep standing up. This guy was out with one shot. Beterbiev is heavy-handed. It depends on your durability, too.

“I can’t see Smith being the kind of fighter that is going to keep it on the outside, but he’s going to maximize his punching power. I trained with McGirt. You may lose a little bit of your footwork, but you may gain a little bit more punching power.

“Smith, I’m not going to say he’s going to let Beterbiev in the front door, but he’s not going to be moving a lot, either. So, it’s going to be jabs, right hands. I can see this fight turning out to be a shootout because, with McGirt’s style, you’re going to maximize your punching power, but you’re not going to move.

“So, it’s not going to be a big, big effort to stay on the outside for Smith, where he’s using his legs,” said Malignaggi.

“If you watch Smith lately, he’ll allow guys right in, and he’ll put his back on the ropes, looking for that counter left hook,” said Algieri. “He’ll sit there and cover-up, and he’ll back straight in and ‘Bam.'”

“I remember the Canelo fight; he was doing it there too, but I don’t know if that’s a [good idea]. You better knock Beterbiev out if you’re going to fight that way,” said Malignaggi.

Smith: The Counterpunching Sniper

“The reason he [Smith] does that is his attitude. He believes in his physicality,” said Teddy Atlas. “He embraces that responsibility to behave like a fighter. Whenever he can, he’s going to get you. If you give him a choice between boxing and getting you, he’s going to get you.

“He’s physically strong, and he believes the best way to use that is on the inside. He’s not going to out-tough this guy [Beterbiev]. He’s going to have to use his brain. He’s going to have to show that and use that length on the outside,” said Atlas.

Keys To Victory

“Beterbiev is 19-0 with 19 knockouts, and he’s been fighting real guys,” said Algieri. “He obviously has the dynamite. He knows how to get guys out of there. Number two, he’s 38-years-old. For that, we’re not going to get an answer until [tonight]. The other factor is 6’3” for Callum Smith. Even at light heavyweight, that’s big.

“You’ve got Beterbiev, who is 5’11 1/2.” So the key to victory for him is to close the distance and get in his workshop, which is right in front of you, without getting hit by the big-punching, longer-armed Smith. He’s got to be smart on his way in. He’s got to be smart,” said Algieri.