If you asked Eddie Hearn and most who resided in the UK, they believed that Callum Smith was the right man for the job. Sure Artur Beterbiev is a dangerous and scary fighter with the type of power that can have you waking up in the emergency room, but Smith’s supporters wouldn’t let up.

Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) wasn’t offended by Smith's fans. He simply didn’t care. He knew once the bell rang, Smith’s fanbase could do nothing but sit on the sidelines while the beating ensued. This Saturday night, that’s exactly what happened.

Smith’s backers were loud in the opening frame, but as his face grew more and more disfigured, they simmered down. With blood pouring from his nose and the swelling around his eyes getting to the point where he could barely see, Buddy McGirt, Smith’s trainer, waved things off following two knockdowns in the seventh round.

Those who believed in Smith were shellshocked. He wasn’t an undefeated fighter but at no point did he ever appear hurt or even stunned in previous outings. Tim Bradley, who was calling the action from ringside, watched stoically as Beterbiev had his way. It isn’t that Smith is a bad fighter but from Bradley’s point of view, he was nowhere near the level of Beterbiev.

“I thought Smith would have success early on but I knew it was all downhill after four, five, six,” Bradley told Fight News during a recent interview. “Beterbiev is a slow starter, he likes to warm up into the action. He slowly breaks you down and every blow that he throws is heavy, heavy shots. I knew Smith wouldn’t be able to deal with that.”

When one challenger falls, another one rises. So, with Smith officially out of the picture, all of the attention will be placed on Dmitry Bivol. The two have danced around each other long enough and are hoping that an undisputed showdown will take place later this year.

Bradley has a soft spot for Bivol, always has. Beterbiev may have looked damn there unbeatable but Bradley isn’t ready to jump on the bandwagon. In his eyes, Bivol can still win, he just has to be flawless on the night.

“That’s the fight that everybody wants to see. I’ve always favored Bivol but Bivol has to fight the perfect fight in order to beat Bivol.”