Eddie Hearn thinks Artur Beterbiev will be particularly susceptible to Callum Smith’s sneaky strong left hook.
Beterbiev, the IBF, WBC, WBO light heavyweight champion from Russia, is regarded as one of the most fearsome fighters in the sport, as evidenced by the fact that he has knocked out every one of his 19 career opponents.
And he will rightfully be the heavy favorite should a fight between him and Liverpool’s Smith come to fruition later this year. Hearn, who promotes Smith, says he expects that fight to be mandated by the WBC. Hearn has stated he wants to stage that fight in Smith’s hometown in late summer; he has also floated the Middle East as an option.
While Hearn understands that Smith, a former titlist at 168, would be a clear underdog going into a Beterbiev fight, he believes his charge will benefit from two things: the wear and tear on the 38-year-old Beterbiev and Smith’s counter left hook, a weapon that has garnered him some of the biggest victories of his career.
The 32-year-old Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) has only lost once in his career, a lopsided points defeat to Canelo Alvarez in 2020 in a 168-pound title unification bout.
“I think Callum Smith is going to knock Beterbiev out,” Hearn told FightHubTV. “I really do. Yeah, I’m very confident he’ll win that fight.”
“I feel that you have a tremendous fighter in Beterbiev that is showing chinks in the armor,” Hearn continued. “He’s 39 [sic]. Callum Smith is a huge puncher at light heavyweight. He was so weight drained at 168. If he hits him on the chin with a left hook he’s going to knock him clean out.”
Hearn thinks Beterbiev showed some of his age in his last bout in January, a thrilling stoppage of top British light heavyweight Anthony Yarde in eight rounds at Wembley Arena in London.
“It’s a very dangerous, but you saw Yarde, and Callum Smith is a much better fighter than Anthony Yarde at light heavyweight and Yarde is a great fighter. I thought Beterbiev was taking his time in that fight. But Yarde caused him some problems.
“I believe that if Callum Smith hits him with one of those clever catch-and-counter left hooks, he will completely knock him out and I believe he can win that fight.”
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