Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith Fight Prediction and Stats Analysis

Published 01/11/2024, 10:27 AM EST

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After a gap of nearly 12 months, light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev will enter the ring again on January 13, Saturday. He will defend his unified title from former super middleweight champion Callum Smith. For a regular title defense, though, across corners, the bout is being looked at with keen interest. The outcome of the match will have a significant impact on the overall landscape of the 175-pound division.

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Fans and experts have been crying out for the monumental clash between Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol. However, the equation might look different if Callum Smith beats the odds. Inflicting his first career loss, Beterbiev will stir up the division’s top echelons. The unified champion would turn 39 in another few days. So the Saturday night clash might as well be one of his last professional fights. Thus, a defeat would make the chances of a Bivol fight bleaker. However, it would be futile to rule Artur Beterbiev out merely because of his age. The champion can still give guys half his age a run for their money. So how does this fight, in a nutshell, pan out for both the Canadian-Russian boxer and his English opponent?

Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith: Head to Head

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Both Callum Smith and Artur Beterbiev enter the ring from completely different directions. Beterbiev became a world title holder in 2017. Two years later, he commenced the unification campaign, defeating Oleksandr Gvozdyk on October 18, 2019. In June 2022, in addition to the existing IBF and WBC titles, he added the WBO championship after knocking out Joe Smith Jr. Early on January 28 last year, he packed off Anthony Yarde.

Callum Smith, on the other hand, after suffering his first career defeat to Canelo Alvarez three years ago, went uphill to the light heavyweight division. So far, he has participated in only two bouts in the weight class, winning both via knockouts.

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So needless to say, the two adversaries do not share common opponents. Had there been any, then it would have helped to study how both fared against a particular foe or foes. But this disparity comes from a common trait. Both boxers haven’t been too active, notably. While fans saw Beterbiev nearly a year ago, in the case of Smith, it’s been a layoff of nearly 16 months.

However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Beterbiev and Smith fight could have taken place much earlier. Originally scheduled for August 19 last year, the fight got postponed due to the Canadian-Russian boxer’s jaw surgery.

Fighting Styles

Callum Smith:

Standing six feet and three inches tall, the Liverpool-born Callum Smith clearly stands out as far as sheer physicality is concerned. Never shying away from taking advantage of his 78-inch reach, the former super middleweight champion, with a 72% knockout-to-win rate, is well known for his counter-punches. He prefers to stay inside, trying to control the fight the way he wants.

He dispatched Castillo with a straight right and later Bauderlique with a left hook. The knockouts happened within the first half of the matches. Thus, it exemplifies that he is willing to take the necessary risks if required for an early stoppage.

Artur Beterbiev:

At the opposite end, Artur Beterbiev fights in the now familiar style, which is applying a constant merciless attack. But unlike many boxers, who follow similar tactics, the light heavyweight champion pursues the foe patiently. Not even once does his action appear knee-jerk or rash.

A well-disciplined fighter, Beterbiev usually closes the business with a thunderous right. Like Smith, he also fights inside and out. But it has been observed that even when pushed outside, he remains unruffled, launching combinations until he regains his old position.

Fight Odds

As far as bookmakers are concerned, Artur Beterbiev remains the heavy favorite to win against Callum Smith. The former, with his exemplary 100% knockout-to-win rate, remains unbeaten in his 19 outings. So understandably, he wouldn’t be wanting a distinct verdict for the twentieth fight of his professional career. Smith, on the other hand, has a defeat under his belt. But it should be remembered that he suffered it at the hands of none other than Canelo Alvarez, that too after taking the undisputed champion the whole distance.

However, both boxers lean heavily towards early stoppages. Hence, chances of both playing out a safe, distance game to an eventual draw cannot be ruled out either.

Expert Opinion

Speaking with heavyweight boxer Johnny Fisher, renowned boxing correspondent Gareth A. Davies asked, “What chance do you give Callum Smith, who’s had two fights at um light heavyweight …very tough fight for him in my view and yet a great opportunity for him as well.” Fisher, while citing the obvious risks involved for Smith, took up Beterbiev’s advancing age.

He said, “…but um, Callum Smith’s got a great chance. Big puncher, big guy um is still one of them things where you can you can force a stoppage, you can force something to happen… he’s got to be looking at this thinking, yeah Beterbiev has got all his knockouts; he’s a great fighter; he’s got relentless pressure, but he’s not a young man anymore, and um maybe he can use that to his advantage.

Davies then cited the Canelo Alvarez fight and how Smith fought until the final round. On record, the English boxer has never been knocked down in his career. So he foresees this match also following a similar example. But there are chances that, towards the last few rounds, both boxers might go all-out. That will ultimately settle the fate of the bout, said the expert. Especially Artur Beterbiev has the tendency to go full throttle around the time.

However, to counter, Callum Smith possesses a thunderous right hand. Moreover, despite his height, he can fight excellently on the inside. “Beterbiev does up the gears and does go for full attack, and yet Callum’s got a great jab, a huge hard head heavy right hand; he’s got great levers on the inside; unusually for a tall man, he’s good on the inside, so he’s got the armory to do it.” Said Gareth A. Davies. However, what concerns him the most is when the Canadian-Russian boxer switches gears to fire body shots.

Johnny Fisher agreed and opined that Callum Smith could resort to applying educated pressure. It would do well for him to maintain the distance and not allow Beterbiev to throw punches at the body. Later, both broached the issue of Artur Beterbiev’s age. Another point of concern was how long the absence from the ring would play out for both.

Final Thoughts

Thus, on paper, the credentials of Artur Beterbiev remain redoubtable. More so, he has the home crowd advantage. His devastating punches haven’t lost any of their power and still remain a potent force to be reckoned with. But age and long absence from ring remain causes for concern. Callum Smith, on the other hand, faced the toughest challenge of his career. Nevertheless, he has a good chance to turn the tables on the reigning champion. However, to achieve that, he needs to exercise a high level of self-control and not give in to the baits Beterbiev throws. Especially, he will have to watch out for those later rounds, when the champion will try exerting full pressure.

Our Verdict

Artur Beterbiev wins by early stoppage, either between the tenth and twelfth rounds.

Match Details

Date: January 13, Saturday

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Time: Event Starts 12 a.m. GMT; Main Event Ring Walks start by 4 a.m. (Sunday Morning)

Venue: Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada

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Do you agree with our verdict? Please share your views with us in the comments below.

Watch This Story: Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith Stats: Age, Height, Weight, Reach, Knockout Ratio, Net Worth, Record, and More

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Written by:

Jaideep R Unnithan

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Edited by:

Snigdhaa Jaiswal

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