Joe Smith Jr. Reveals Game Plan For Artur Beterbiev Fight
WBO 175-lb champion Joe Smith Jr. has (28-3, 22 KOs) revealed that his game plan for Saturday night is to outwork, outpunch and tire out IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) to force him into the later rounds.
“I have more experience going into the later rounds than he does, so we’ll see what happens,” said Joe Smith Jr to Fighthype.
Smith believes that he has the advantage in late round experience when compared to Beterbiev, who’s matches typically only go six rounds or less due to how quickly he knocks out his opponents.
“This is a huge opportunity,” said Smith. “Beterbiev is a huge name in boxing. Everyone knows who he is at this point. He has two world titles, and I want those belts.
“I believe this fight is going to be great. You’ve got two big punchers, and I’m just excited to be in there with him. He’s a great name.”
Meanwhile, sportsbooks have established Beterbiev as a heavy favorite over Smith. This was addressed by Star Boxing CEO Joe DeGuardia, who joked that he would bet six figures on Joe Smith Jr. if he weren’t co-promoting.
While DeGuardia respects Beterbiev’s skill, but he can’t understand how some sportsbooks have established Beterbiev as such a heavy favorite over Smith, whom Star Boxing has promoted throughout Smith’s career. FanDuel has listed Beterbiev as an 11-1 favorite, Caesars Sportsbook favored Beterbiev at 9-1 earlier this week, and DraftKings has Beterbiev at 7-1.
“I think those are good odds if you wanna bet on Joe Smith because I don’t see Joe as being a 9-1 underdog in this fight,” DeGuardia told BoxingScene.com. “When you look at Beterbiev’s background, his record, his two titles, the fight against [Oleksandr] Gvozdyk, his Olympic pedigree, his style and things like that, you recognize that he’s a great fighter. We harbor no illusions. I know he’s a great fighter. But going into this fight at 9-1, put your money on Joe.”
The two fighters met face to face at their final press conference yesterday. The fight will occur Saturday evening at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, and will be broadcasted by ESPN.