Beterbiev Stops Smith In The Seventh To Set Up An Undisputed Fight With Bivol

Artur Beterbiev stopped Callum Smith in round seven to retain his WBO, WBC and IBF light heavyweight belts.

Beterbiev dominated the fight as he neutralized Smith’s height and reach advantage with a masterful performance. Beterbiev immediately took control of the centre, with his lead left hook, followed by a right to the body, showing his serious intent. Smith moved away from the ropes with his lateral movement to avoid being pinned down. A left hook landed for Beterbiev, but Smith followed up with his own.

The challenger had a better second round as his jab landed, as he targeted Beterbiev’s body throughout the fight. Smith narrowly missed with a right hook as Beterbiev made him pay with his own right hand. The third round was the first sign of danger for Smith. His nose was pouring with blood, and his face swelled up. Beterbiev had established his jab. Smith attempted to fight on the inside, playing into Beterbiev’s hands.

The Russian backed up Smith on the ropes, letting loose with numerous combinations in the fourth. The referee watched it closely, but Smith hit back with some punches and moved away from the ropes to weather the storm. That was short-lived as Beterbiev increased the tempo in the sixth, landing at will.

In the seventh, it was all over. The champion backed Smith up on the ropes, dropping him following numerous right and left hands. Smith beat the count, but he hit the canvas again with another flurry of punches. His corner threw in the towel as Beterbiev set up the undisputed fight with Dmitry Bivol.

Reaction

“My coach, our team is working hard with me. We have a couple strategies, you need to be prepared for several strategies. [Smith] gave me a good fight, he stayed strong. Thank you to him. But today, luck is on my side. Yes, of course [I want Bivol next]. I need another, fourth belt,” Beterbiev

Beterbiev Questions Bivol’s Intent

Beterbiev has questioned suggestions that Bivol has already signed to fight him for undisputed. Bob Arum denied claims that the fight is a done deal, but he does expect  it to happen. 

For now, Beterbiev has questioned Bivol’s intentions. 

“He always talks like this. For the last five years, he has told everyone that he’s going to fight the next fight with me. He says that he already signed with me the contract. How can he say he signed the contract with me when I have another fight? He’s a real boxer, you know? I don’t know nothing about fight date or nothing. He already signed. How did he? It’s always like this with boxers. No, I don’t know that. I tell you. Nobody tells me dates, names. He [Bivol] tells only, but I don’t believe him. He’s not a good guy,” Beterbiev said 

Full Card

Artur Beterbiev def. Liam Smith via a seventh-round TKO

Christian Mbilli def. Rohan Murdock who retired after round six

Jason Moloney def. Saul Sanchez via a majority decision: 114-114, 116-112 and 116-112

Leila Beaudoin def. Elizabeth Espinoza via a unanimous decision: 78-74, 78-74, 77-75

Wilkens Mathieu def. Jose Arias Alvarez via a unanimous decision: 40-36, 40-35, 40-35

Mehmet Unal def. Dragan Lepei def. via a first-round TKO

Christopher Guerrero def. Sergio Herrera via a unanimous decision: 79-73, 78-74, 78-74

Moreno Fendero def. Victor Hugo Flores via a first-round KO

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