Callum Smith: “I Believe I Can Hit And Hurt Beterbiev, Get Rid Of Him”

By James Slater - 11/26/2023 - Comments

Former super middleweight champ Callum Smith was, like the rest of us, mightily impressed with what he saw from the great Katie Taylor last night in Dublin. Smith, like the rest of us who watched the Taylor-Chantelle Cameron rematch, witnessed a special performance from a special fighter. And Smith, 29-1(21) has a big fight of his own fast approaching. Smith will face the “beast” that is three-belt light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev on January 13, the fight to take place in Quebec, Canada.

And Smith, who spoke with Boxing Social last night, said he fully believes he can and will win the fight. Smith, who will be bidding to become a two-weight world ruler, says he has seen the 19-0(19) Beterbiev get hit and hurt in fights and that he will be able to “get rid of him” if and when he catches him and hurts him with some good shots. It is a fight that has been some months in finally coming, Russia’s Beterbiev having to pull out of the original date due to injury. Liverpool’s Smith says he is very excited about the fight.

“It’s a huge fight for me, but it’s a fight I’ve always liked, I’ve always….I’ve known about Artur Beterbiev for a long time, and I know his style and I think it matches up pretty well with mine,” Smith said. “It’s an exciting fight but it’s an exciting fight where I’m fully confident I go over there and come out on top and take his belts off him. People make out he’s this beast and stuff, and part of him is, he’s an awesome fighter, with 19 knockouts, he’s got a great record. But he has been hurt twice. He does get hit quite a bit, he’s not an elusive, hard to hit fighter. So I do see ways in which I believe I can win. If someone’s there for me to hit I definitely believe I can hurt them, and I’ve seen other fighters hurt him and I fully believe I can do the same. I’m going over there with the full belief that, if I catch him, I hurt him, and if I hurt him I can get rid of him.”

Smith is not in any way fooling himself, with him saying how the upcoming fight is “not as easy task.” It’s arguable that, if he does win, Smith will pull off one of the best ‘away wins’ ever scored by a British fighter. It’s amazing to think that not one man has ever managed to go the distance with Beterbiev, much less come close to beating him. But Beterbiev has been stunned by punches, he has even been down. Smith is a live underdog here to say the absolute least. It could be a great action fight in January, the first big fight of 2024.

Beterbiev will have been out of action for a year come the Smith fight, and while the rest will have seen the 38 year old (39 come January 21) fully heal and recharge his batteries, he could be battling the effects of rust when he fights Smith. Age catches up with all fighters at some point, and maybe Smith, the younger man by five years, is in the right place at the right time here. Maybe.

That said, Beterbiev is such a destructive, strong fighter, he has to be the pick to win here. Smith, though, has only been beaten by Canelo, and some said he froze in that fight. If nerves don’t get the better of Smith here, look for him to give Beterbiev one of his toughest fights to date.

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