Knockout artist Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) will be back in action, defending his IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight titles against former WBAA super middleweight champion Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) in their rescheduled fight on January 13th at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.
The fight is being delayed five months from the original date of August 19th because Beterbiev, 38, needed jaw surgery.
Smith, 33, has already been out of the ring for twelve months since stopping Mathieu Bauderlique in the fourth round in August 2022.
The additional five months won’t be good for Smith because he’s only fought six rounds in total in the last two years and needs activity to prepare himself for Beterbiev.
The Beterbiev vs. Smith card will be shown live at 10:00 p.m. ET on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+.
Beterbiev must fight better than in his last outing against Anthony Yarde last January because that contest was close until Artur knocked him out in the eighth round.
Smith and his trainer Buddy McGirt likely saw a lot of holes in Beterbiev’s game from the Yarde fight that they believe they can capitalize on. What may approve difficult for Smith is his lack of hand speed.
Yarde did well because of his blazing hand speed, combination punching, and power. Smith isn’t a combination puncher, and his speed is average at best. What he does have in his favor is power and body punching.
Callum confident of victory over Beterbiev
“He’s a big lump, he’s heavy-handed, and he’s quite good at cutting the ring off and making you fight his fight,” said Callum Smith to Boxing News talking about Beterbiev.
“I believe I’m a good, intelligent fighter that is heavy-handed. I just have to be smart, box when I need to box and fight when I need to fight and listen to Buddy.
“He’s a good fighter, but there are holes in him. He can be hit, and he can be hurt. I also have full confidence in my own ability that, provided I get it right on the night, I can go and take his belts off of him and bring them back home.
“The outlook will be the same. We’ll start a new camp, and we’ll go again. I’m confident that I will take my opportunity when I get it.
“I’ve known Beterbiev for a long time. I’ve seen him as an amateur, and I know who he is. I know how good he is, and I know how heavy-handed he is. His records and achievements speak for themselves.
“I’ve never watched him and thought he was unbeatable. He is there to be hit, and he can be hurt. I’ve seen him put over twice. The media and the public like to create this image of a monster. He might be a monster, but he is not invincible. He can be hurt.
“So when you see someone else do it, it gives me the full belief that I can do it myself. I’m confident in my own power and my own ability.
“When you see other fighters that have him over and have him hurt, it definitely gives me more incentive that I can go in there and do a better job, and finish the job and get the job done.
“I had a good camp, and I had my goals to get in there and do it. I’ll just have to wait a little bit longer to get my opportunity.
“I started over there. I did twelve weeks over in America and then came back over here for the last six weeks are so. We did have a good camp. Hopefully, we can put it to use,” said Callum.