Smith Aims To Disrupt The Undisputed Fight: Can He Derail Beterbiev’s Path To Bivol?
Callum Smith says he feels it’s disrespectful to him for fans and the media already looking forward to watching Artur Beterbiev, the IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion, meeting WBA champ Dmitry Bivol next for the four-belt undisputed championship before he’s even gotten a chance to fight this Saturday night.
Fans Looking Past Smith
It annoys Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) that people are just assuming that Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) defeats him, and they’re treating him like he’s a stay-busy fight for the unbeaten unified champion instead of a fighter with a real shot of winning.
Beterbiev will be fighting on home soil in his adopted country in Canada at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, where he defends against the former WBA super middleweight champion Smith. The event will be shown live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN+ starting at 10:00 p.m. ET/7:00 p.m. PT.
People have this monster image of Beterbiev, and part of that is deserved. He has 19 fights, 19 knockouts, and three world titles,” said Callum Smith to iFL TV about his fight with Artur Beterbiev on Saturday.
Beterbiev Can Be Hurt
“I think people paper over and hide the fact that he’s been hurt, and been down twice as a professional. He’s not invincible. He’s a very good fighter, he’s a strong fighter offensively, but he can be hit, and he can be hurt.
“I sparred Callum [Johnson] before that fight [with Beterbiev in 2018]. I seen it with my own eyes. If they can do it, then I can do it,” said Smith.
Beterbiev knocked Callum Johnson down in the first round of their fight in 2018, but then got careless in the second, and was knocked down himself. However, Beterbiev came back strong to dominate the third and then stop Johnson in the fourth.
“They could have fought five years ago, and they’re doing it now,” said Smith about Dmitry Bivol and Beterbiev signing for a fight next for the undisputed championship, assuming that Artur will beat Callum.
Respect Through Victory
“The reporters were saying, ‘That’s the fight [Beterbiev vs. Bivol] we want to see.’ That’s a bit disrespectful, but in terms of people wanting to see the fight, I’m not mad. It’s a good fight. I want to see it myself as a boxing fan, and at the minute, they are the two champions in the boxing division. I believe this weekend, that changes.
“I think the timing of people wanting to see it, it’s a little bit disrespectful, but hopefully, I can ruin everybody’s plans,” said Callum.