Official ESPN Weights: Beterbiev vs. Smith – for Saturday in Quebec City

By Michael Collins - 01/12/2024 - Comments

IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev and challenger Callum Smith both successfully weighed in today for their main event three-belt contest for this Saturday, January 13th, at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City.


– Artur Beterbiev 175
– Callum Smith 174.6

The face-off was largely uneventful, with neither fighter showing much emotion. For the 33-year-old former WBA super middleweight champion Smith (29-1, 21 KOs), it’s normal for him to have a flat affect look to him, devoid of emotion. That’s just the way he is, but he comes alive inside the ring.

Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) gave the media a mean look when he turned around, and one could tell that he was not a happy camper about yesterday’s talk about his atypical results for his VADA test on December 6th.

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Smith’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, made a big production about the results, talking about it at length to the media and seemingly ignoring Beterbiev’s negative tests that were conducted afterward.

Some people saw that Hearn is trying to play mind games and or come up with an excuse in advance if Smith is obliterated by Beterbiev on Saturday, becoming his 20th consecutive knockout victim.

Hopefully, Hearn doesn’t muddy the water if Smith loses by bringing up the atypical test by Beterbiev to take the heat off his beaten fighter.

Hearn’s Questions, Unanswered

“I don’t think anyone would be over the moon, but if it’s just a natural thing that has caused this for Artur Beterbiev, he’s just unlucky in some respects, and that’s just what happens,” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social, talking about Artur Beterbiev’s atypical test results on one of his bests last December.

“Someone says these levels can be raised by doing squats, and then they just disappear. I just don’t know. We need a wider forum, a discussion around these things.

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“Not with these kinds of substances, no,” said Hearn when asked if he’d ever seen a fighter with an atypical test. “I’ve been doing VADA testing for fighters for five or six years. So, I’ve never seen anything like this.

“Historically, if this happens, there is an element of investigation because we want to know. My question to Margaret and VADA would be, ‘Can you categorically tell me that these results show me that he is not taking performance-enhancing drugs? I haven’t quite received an answer to that yet, and I haven’t really pushed that.

“That’s the kind of thing that you want to know when you’re protecting your fighter. Other people say, ‘They’re getting their excuses ready.’ There ain’t going to be no excuses. We aren’t actually accusing Artur Beterbiev of anything. We’re just saying that we need a conversation about this in a wider forum.

“We’ve asked questions. We’re always in communication with Margaret, and they do a great job. I don’t think they’ve been as quite forthcoming as we would have liked. It’s also a sensitive situation.

“I would have preferred positive or negative, that’s it. Not something in the middle that’s not negative and not positive but it’s alarming. It’s like, ‘What’s that.’

Media Silence and Double Standards

“Again, it’s a very cloudy subject, as we know. If it was my show and my fighter and this information was out there, I think the situation would be very different, and I think everyone would agree.

“I would be absolutely ridiculed from top to bottom in interviews. ‘What are you going to do? This is unacceptable. My fighter would also get the same treatment. I don’t want to sound arrogant, but that comes with being top dog and also having a big mouth.

“Yesterday, no one even mentioned it. I was absolutely gobsmacked,” said Hearn about the media and fans not talking enough about Beterbiev’s atypical findings.

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(ESPN, ESPN Deportes & ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT)

Artur Beterbiev (175 lbs.) vs. Callum Smith (174.6 lbs.): This contest features Artur Beterbiev defending his WBC, IBF, and WBO Light Heavyweight World Titles against Callum Smith in a 12-round bout. Beterbiev enters the ring slightly heavier, presenting a closely matched fight in terms of weight.

Christian Mbilli (167.3 lbs) vs. Rohan Murdock (167.6 lbs): In the super middleweight division, Christian Mbilli defends his WBC Continental Americas and WBA International titles against Rohan Murdock. This 10-round fight showcases two athletes with nearly identical weights, promising a highly competitive encounter.

(ESPN+, 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT)

Jason Moloney (117.5 lbs) vs. Saul Sanchez (117.8 lbs): Jason Moloney defends his WBO Bantamweight World Title in a 12-round fight against Saul Sanchez. The slight difference in their weights indicates a well-matched contest.

Imam Khataev (174.6 lbs) vs. Michal Ludwiczak (178.6 lbs): In the light heavyweight division, Imam Khataev faces Michal Ludwiczak in a 10-round bout. Ludwiczak has a weight advantage, which could play a role in the fight dynamics.

Leila Beaudoin (129.9 lbs) vs. Elizabeth Espinoza (128.6 lbs): This junior lightweight fight spans 8 rounds, featuring Leila Beaudoin against Elizabeth Espinoza. Their weights are closely matched, suggesting a potentially even contest.

Wilkens Mathieu (168.8 lbs) vs. Jose Arias Alvarez (167.7 lbs): In the super middleweight division, this 6-round fight sees Wilkens Mathieu competing against Jose Arias Alvarez, with a slight weight advantage for Mathieu.

Mehmet Ünal (177.8 lbs) vs. Dragan Lepei (177.7 lbs): A light heavyweight fight scheduled for 8 rounds, featuring Mehmet Ünal and Dragan Lepei, who are nearly identical in weight.

Christopher Guerrero (149.5 lbs) vs. Sergio Herrera (149.6 lbs): This welterweight encounter is an 8-round bout, with Christopher Guerrero and Sergio Herrera almost perfectly matched in weight.

Moreno Fendero (162.8 lbs) vs. Victor Hugo Flores (162.3 lbs): In the middleweight division, this 4-round fight pits Moreno Fendero against Victor Hugo Flores, with a minimal difference in their weights.