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Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith: Tips and prediction as Mundo attempts to dethrone unbeaten beast

Liverpudlian Callum Smith will attempt to pull off a seismic shock when he battles feared IBF, WBO and WBC light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev on away soil this weekend.

The fight for the unified world light-heavyweight titles - which was originally pencilled in for August last year - finally takes place this weekend as Beterbiev returns after a year out of the ring to defend his belts on home turf against Smith, who is his WBC mandatory. 

Since being beaten by Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in his only career loss in December 2020, Smith stepped up in weight but the Covid-19 pandemic, injuries and the politics that come with being a mandatory have meant the 33-year-old has only had two fights at his new weight and has been out of the ring since August 2022. 

It was Beterbiev who was at fault for the Smith fight being postponed last year as he had to have jaw surgery after his successful defence in January 2023 against Anthony Yarde. 

Beterbiev’s injury means he and challenger Smith could suffer from ring rust when they return at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. 

An esteemed amateur, Beterbiev is one of the biggest pound-for-pound punchers in the world and all 19 of his professional bouts have been won by knockout. 

Yet aged 38 and with plenty of miles on the clock, Beterbiev struggled against Yarde as the Brit had a lot of success before coming up short. 

Smith will certainly take confidence from watching Beterbiev’s last performance and will fancy his chances of becoming a two-weight world champion. 

Mundo’s inactivity in recent years is far from ideal but he has had over a year of focusing on Beterbiev alone and that will be a big help on fight night. 

Smith is an outsider for a reason heading into the biggest fight of his career at the weekend as Beterbiev is a terrifying, freakish fighter capable of chopping down opponents at will. 

But having only come up short against an elite opponent in Canelo and being a big puncher in his own right, Smith has a decent chance of claiming one of boxing’s biggest-ever scalps on away soil.

If he does so, it would also spoil Saudi Arabia’s plans to host the undisputed bout between Beterbiev and WBA champion Dmitry Bivol later this year as he would elbow himself into the mix for another massive payday.

Regardless of whoever comes out on top of this bout (which has the potential to be a fight-of-the-year contender), the safe money would be on a knockout. 

 

Suggested bets 

Callum Smith to win via TKO/KO - 7/1

Artur Beterbiev win Rounds 10-12 - 3/1

 

Full card

Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith - IBF, WBO and WBC world light-heavyweight titles
Jason Moloney vs Saul Sanchez - WBO world bantamweight title
Christian Mbilli vs Rohan Murdock
Imam Khataev vs Joaquin Murrieta Lucio
Christopher Guerrero vs Sergio Garcia Herrera
Mehmet Unal vs Dragan Lepei
Leila Beaudoin vs Elizabeth Chavez Espinoza
Moreno Fendero vs Victor Hugo Flores
Wilkens Mathieu vs Jose Arias Alvarez

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