Beterbiev Vs. Smith: Upset Brewing In Quebec City?
Expert Darren Barker is picking Callum Smith to KO the unbeaten 5:1 favorite IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev this Saturday night, January 13th, in their 12-round fight on ESPN at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada. The Beterbiev vs. Smith event will be shown on ESPN at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Beterbiev: The Invincible Aura?
Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) comes into Saturday’s fight with a perfect 100% knockout rating and is viewed as invincible to some. There’s been no one to make anyone believe that the two-time Russian Olympian can be beaten, considering the only ones that gave him slight problems were Anthony Yarde and Callum Johnson, and those guys folded under his power.
Indeed, a lot of boxing fans view the 33-year-old former WBA super middleweight champion ‘Mundo’ Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) as a speed bump that Beterbiev must run over on his path to the undisputed championship against WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol this summer in Saudi Arabia.
Smith Too Strong for Beterbiev
“I’m going to say Callum Smith chins him. I’m going to say the times right,” said expert Darren Barker to Boxing News, picking Callum Smith to KO Artur Beterbiev. “He’s looked a little vulnerable, and the first thing that goes with a fighter is your punch resistance.”
Beterbiev wasn’t hurt in any of his recent fights against Anthony Yarde, Joe Smith Jr., or Marcus Browne, so it’s unclear where Barker got the notion that his punch resistance has faded.
“I think he’s a bigger puncher moving up to light heavy, Callum Smith. We see that. If the opposite would happen, I would expect to look silly, but I wouldn’t be shocked,” said Barker about Beterbiev potentially winning.
“What a ridiculous puncher he is. He’s a freak of nature, Beterbiev. He’s going to get caught, and Callum Smith, this is no disrespect to Yarde, and a bigger puncher as well. He’s more accurate, more quicker.
“It’s one of those. It’s a toss of a coin. I really, really believe Beterbiev’s resistance around the whiskers is starting to fade a little bit, and that’s a bad, bad thing to be losing against Callum Smith,” said Barker.