One Punch Away From Glory: Hearn Predicts Smith One-Punch KO Of Beterbiev
Eddie Hearn says Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) can put himself into the undisputed fight with Dmitry Bivol if he connects cleanly on IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev to knock him clean out with a single shot on Saturday night at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City.
Hearn believes former WBA super middleweight champion Smith will line Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) for a KO punch by the eighth or ninth round to get him out of there.
The Beterbiev-Smith event will be shown live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ this Saturday, January 13th at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Hearn’s Vision: A Smith Knockout Masterclass
“Callum is fresh, a very fresh fighter. Very big. Callum Smith is one of the biggest stars in British boxing. He was the Ring Magazine champion and the WBA champion at 168 lbs, and he fought Canelo Alvarez. He probably didn’t do himself justice in that fight. It was very difficult to make weight,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to the media.
Smith should be fresh, considering he’s coming off a 17-month layoff since his fourth-round knockout win over Mathieu Bauderlique in August 2022. Callum says he’s been staying busy, training all this time so he’s not worried about inactivity.
“Against Beterbiev, you can’t mess around. You can’t come in here and fiddle around, and try and survive and try and escape and box off the back foot,” said Hearn.
“You have to be brave enough to exchange with him, and like I said. If he exchanges and he lands, the fights over. No disrespect to Beterbiev, but that’s how I visualize this fight. A one-punch clean knockout for Callum Smith, and I believe that’s going to happen,” said Hearn.
Smith has to fight at a faster pace against Beterbiev than he did in his fight with Bauderlique, because he was fighting at too slow a pace and getting hit frequently. If Beterbiev connects as often as Bauderlique did, he’ll stop Smith, and his dream of fighting for the undisputed will be over.
The Undisputed Carrot: Bivol Awaits the Winner
“I signed for that fight already when I did the deal for Dmitry [Bivol] to fight Lyndon Arthur in Saudi Arabia. It came with another fight to do the undisputed,” said Hearn about WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol having already signed to face Beterbiev,” said Hearn.
“Obviously, Saudi still has to do the deal with Top Rank and Artur Beterbiev. But Dmitry Bivol was already committed to that fight, but we believe it’s going to be Dmitry Bivol against Callum Smith, but we have to see.
“Certainly, if Artur were to win on Saturday, that fight is there for him in the Middle East,” said Hearn.