WHEN Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith meet on August 19 there is a high probability the fight will not go the distance.
For the sixth time in his last eight outings Smith travels overseas this time to Quebec City in Canada looking to dethrone the light-heavyweight ruler.
With 49 fights between them only nine opponents have heard the final bell, all of whom are on the record of Smith. Beterbiev’s own résumé is a frightening 19 wins with 19 by way of knockout, stoppage and the one retirement which forced Rayco Saunders to withdraw from their fight ten years ago.
Smith is now trained by Buddy McGirt having left long-time trainer Joe Gallagher. McGirt, who also works with Britons Dan Azeez and Dillian Whyte, spoke to Boxing News this week about the challenge of Beterbiev. The former world champion says he doesn’t care how the victory comes about the Liverpudlian so long as he gets it.
“I just want the victory. I don’t care how we get as long as we get it. I don’t predict knockouts or stuff like that. We’re gonna win the fight, how we get it I don’t care how we get it.”
Beterbiev, just like Canelo Alvarez (who defeated Smith in December 2020), is turning into something of a Brit-slayer having already beaten Callum Johnson and Anthony Yarde. His win against Yarde came at the beginning of the year in a bruising and thrilling battle which ended with an eighth round TKO for the Russian. The underdog provided a stern challenge on the night in London giving Beterbiev one of the toughest fights of his career.
BN asked McGirt if he noticed any chinks in the armour that Smith can exploit next month.
“I believe that everyone fights to the ability of their opponent,” he answered.
“I know that Beterbiev knows he has to step his game up for Callum. He feels he didn’t have to step his game up for Yarde for whatever reason I don’t know. But I know that he knows that fighting Callum he’s fighting a bigger guy who can also punch so he’s gotta step his game up.”