Joe Smith Jr vows to ‘skyrocket’ his career by ending Artur Beterbiev’s vicious knockout record

Three light-heavyweight titles will be on the line as Joe Smith Jr challenges the unbeaten Russian-born champion, Artur Beterbiev.

Since turning professional in 2013, Beterbiev has demolished all 17 of his opponents on his way to the pinnacle of the light-heavyweight division. 

The 37-year-old WBC and IBF title holder is yet to hear the final bell in his career, and has enjoyed recent victories over Marcus Browne, Adam Deines and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

This weekend, the Russian-Canadian can add a third world title to his collection as Joe Smith Jr arrives in New York with the WBO strap.

The American won the title back in 2021 with a majority decision over Maxim Vlasov. Last January, he made his first successful defence of the title, knocking out Steve Geffrard in the ninth round.

The 32-year-old, known as the Irish Bomber, has three defeats on his record, with the most notable one coming against Dimitry Bivol in 2019.

Bivol has since gone on to beat Canelo Alvarez meaning he - as the WBA champion - will be keeping a close eye on the outcome of this fight, considering a potential unification bout could be just around the corner.

If Smith is to have a shot at redemption against Bivol, he must first end Beterbiev's undefeated streak. Despite the difficult task ahead, the American is optimistic, telling Sky Sports: "I believe if I get Beterbiev in that position, I'll get him out of there.

"I'm a good finisher. It's not my gameplan but if it presents itself and it's there, I'm going to do it."

Smith also revealed he isn't particularly daunted by his opponent's mean streak. He added: "It's a great record but it's motivation to me, because if I can be the first one to beat him, to stop him, it's going to skyrocket my career.

"I know there's a lot of people out there who believe in me. There's people that believe in him. We've just got to get in there on Saturday and see what's going to happen.

"This would definitely be the sweetest victory of all, if I could pull it off Saturday. There's three world championships on the line, Beterbiev's an undefeated man with an 100% knockout ratio, if I beat him - it's just huge."

READ MORE: Tyson Fury includes Dwayne Johnson in four-fight exhibition shortlist

Latest news