Callum Smith: Don’t try to tell me Artur Beterbiev’s a monster when two people have put him over!

Callum Smith wants to dethrone Artur Beterbiev and become the best light-heavyweight in the world; ‘He is the toughest fight of my career. But I pose more of a threat to him than any of his previous opponents,’ Smith said; Watch Beterbiev vs Smith live on Sky Sports from 1am

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Artur Beterbiev fixed Callum Smith with an icy glare throughout the press conference head to head in Quebec.

Callum Smith has faced Canelo Alvarez, George Groves and many more, but believes Artur Beterbiev will be the toughest fight of his career.

But he also warns the unified WBC, WBO and IBF light-heavyweight champion that he is the greatest threat Beterbiev has faced too.

“I do see it as the toughest fight of my career, mentally and physically. I’m preparing myself for that. I’m here for the toughest fight of my career,” Smith told Sky Sports.

  • Artur Beterbiev beat Oleksandr Usyk once, and believes Tyson Fury will do so too
  • Natasha Jonas: Callum Smith will become Liverpool’s first undisputed champion
  • Stream Sky Sports on NOW

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Ahead of Callum Smith’s much-anticipated clash with Artur Beterbiev this weekend, relive how Brits have fared previously against some of the best pound-for-pound fighters of their generation.

“He’s beat some good fighters. Obviously Anthony Yarde last time out, [Oleksandr] Gvozdyk for his WBC title, Joe Smith for his WBO, he has beat some good opposition.

“But I do believe I’d have beaten everyone he’s faced so far and I believe stylistically I pose more of a threat than any of his previous opponents.”

Beterbiev is a fearsome undefeated puncher, who has never been taken the full distance as a professional fighter. But Smith is not overawed by his power.

Image: Callum Smith challenges Artur Beterbiev at the Videotron Center in Quebec City in the early hours of Sunday morning live on Sky Sports (Photo: Top Rank)

“He’s knocked everyone out he’s ever faced, so that deserves respect,” Smith said, before adding: “He’s probably got underrated boxing ability as well. He was world amateur champion.

“I think it probably gets overlooked because of all his fights ending in a knockout but he’s got good boxing ability as well.

“But he’s not invincible. He has been hurt, he can be hit. He’s not the most elusive fighter. Whenever I’m watching boxing fights I always imagine myself in with them and what I would do different to his opponent.

“I’ve always watched his fights and although I see the dangers, I also see the openings, the gaps, the faults. I feel like I’ve got the style to take advantage of them.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Callum Smith says anyone expecting a repeat of his Canelo performance is in for a shock and he’s confident of knocking out Artur Beterbiev in front of his Canadian fans.

Both men come into this fight after lengthy spells of inactivity. Smith was kept out for the entirety of 2023 as this bout was rescheduled. Beterbiev hasn’t competed for almost a year, since a more exciting than expected collision with Anthony Yarde in London.

But the unified champion doesn’t believe he revealed much vulnerability in that clash with Yarde.

“I think the team of Yarde, they prepared very well,” Beterbiev said. “I think they did a good job for this fight.

“We prepared too, very well, and we know the result.”

Beterbiev speaks quietly, yet with a faint hint of menace still: “My team prepared a little bit better than him.”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Liam Smith is optimistic his brother Callum can cause an upset against fearsome light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev this weekend.

The champion after all did knock out the Londoner with his familiar in ferocity inside eight rounds.

“You never know how it’s going during the fight. That’s why sometimes you step back to go forward,” Beterbiev said. “It’s interesting. Even for me it’s interesting always, how it’s going.”

However, while Smith has never been knocked down in his career, he points out that Beterbiev has on two previous occasions.

“He does lose rounds, he can be hit, he’s been knocked down twice in his career. People like to paint him as this invincible monster,” the Liverpudlian said.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Paul Smith is backing his brother Callum to secure an explosive win over Artur Beterbiev this weekend.

“Okay, his punch power suggests the ‘monster’ side of it but don’t try and tell me that he’s invincible when two people have put him over as a professional. Okay he got up to win. I just don’t see the invincible side.

“He can be hit, he can be hurt, he’s a human being and I believe I’m a big puncher at 175lbs and if I do catch him, I do think I will hurt him and I believe I can get rid of him.”

As tough as Beterbiev might be, there’s a reason Smith wanted to box him.

“I pushed for this fight, I became the mandatory challenger through a final eliminator, I knew who the champion was,” he explained.

“He’s in my opinion the best light-heavyweight in the world. He owns three world titles and I’m the challenger again. I’m challenging him for his belts so I’ve always got that mentality.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Callum Smith says he will need to be switched on from the off when he challenges Artur Beterbiev for the unified WBO, WBC and IBF light-heavyweight world titles, live on Sky Sports in the early hours of Sunday morning.

“I need to take what’s his off him and become the man in the division.”

Smith has already held a super-middleweight title. But winning this fight would leave a legacy in the sport, making him potentially the most successful boxer to come from Liverpool.

“I’m proud to represent Liverpool, it’s a great fighting city with a lot of top fighters. I don’t believe I’m the best fighter to come from my family so I’m not going to sit here and say I’m the best to come from the city,” he declared.

“But [beating Beterbiev] I’d win three world titles, I’d be a two-division world champion and I’d complete the set, I’ve already got the WBA [at super-middle] so I’d have won every world title possible.

“It’s a good motivation for me, it’s a good achievement. To be a two-division world champion is a goal I’ve always looked for and I’ve always felt I was capable of achieving.”

His chance to find out how good he can be comes this weekend.

Watch Beterbiev vs Smith live on Sky Sports Arena from 1am and Sky Sports Main Event from 1.15am on Sunday. Stream live boxing on Sky Sports with NOW.


No votes yet.
Please wait...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *