Beterbiev Drops Smith Twice To Stop Him In The Seventh

January 14, 2024
2 months
Beterbiev Drops Smith Twice To Stop Him In The Seventh

Artur Beterbiev kept his undisputed hopes alive after dropping Callum Smith twice to secure a seventh-round stoppage and keep his WBO, WBC and IBF light heavyweight belts.

Beterbiev was under immense pressure after reports that Dmitry Bivol had already signed for an undisputed fight. The champion was also under scrutiny over his ‘atypical’ VADA findings that showed growth hormone and 5D-androstanediol. Further tests all came back negative, but it was another obstacle in the way.

Beterbiev, however, was comfortable from the start. He established control of the centre with his left hook as he backed Smith on the ropes. The fast start foreshadowed how the fight would play out as Smith got off the ropes on this occasion to land his left hook in a clear round for the champion.

Beterbiev Starts Well

Smith started the next better as he connected with several jabs. The Brit’s plan was clear: to target Beterbiev’s body. But Smith’s tendency to shoot the left hook to the head rather than the body failed as Beterbiev read it all too well.

By round three, Smith’s face told the full story. His nose was dripping with blood, and his face had bruising, while Beterbiev hardly looked like he got out of second gear for someone who had not fought in around a year. He pushed Smith on the ropes and landed numerous flurries, which could have resulted in a stoppage had Smith not gotten off the ropes in the fourth.

Beterbiev Stops Smith

It would soon be his downfall, as another strong round in the sixth would set up the finish in the seventh. Smith was dropped for the first time in his career as Beterbiev threw many right and left hands to the head, buckling the challenger’s legs.

Although Smith managed to get up, he was dropped again. Despite standing up, his team threw in the towel, as Beterbiev kept his 100 percent KO rate to take his record to 20-0. He called out Bivol for the undisputed fight.

Post-Fight Comments

“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

“He had good momentum, good pressure, he stopped me getting into a rhythm. The better man won tonight. He caught me with a good shot, it happens. Fair play. No excuses, the better man won tonight. “I’m gonna spend some time with my family and see what the future holds.

“I don’t know, I’ve had a good career, been a world champion, been top of the mountain. I’ve given a lot to boxing over the years. I need to sit down and assess what goals I still want to achieve. I wanted to be a two-division world champion, but I’ve come up short tonight. It’s hard to accept that I’m not the best in the world. I’ll have to sit and assess what the future holds,” Smith

“His Excellency Turki Alalshikh has a message to his father Bob Arum – let’s do it,” Bob Arum

Full Results

Artur Beterbiev beat Liam Smith via a seventh-round TKO

Christian Mbilli beat Rohan Murdock who retired after round six

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

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

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

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

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

Moreno Fendero beat Victor Hugo Flores via a first-round KO

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