Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr.: Battle prediction, undercard, odds, starting time, rematch preview

The boxing series of major clashes and multi-belt reunions continues on Saturday with what promises to be a clash with all actions between WBC and IBF welterweight champion Artur Beterbiev and WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. Saturday night (22:00 ET, ESPN).

Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KO) is one of the most feared drummers in the sport, after knocking out every man he went to the ring with as a professional. He won the vacant IBF title in November 2017 with a knockout victory by Enrico Colling. Colling almost became the first person to put Beterbiev on the charts, but Beterbiev’s relentless pressure eventually caught up with him when he knocked out just 27 seconds before the end of the battle.

Three fights later, Beterbiev added the WBC belt to his collection by stopping Alexander Gvozdik in a long-awaited match in which Beterbiev methodically defeated the elite light heavyweight division. He twice defended his combined titles after the victory by stopping over Gvozdik.

“This is a very important match for me. In terms of location, it’s no different to me. I’m more focused on the battle. I am more focused on my opponent than on the place. I always ask my boxing coach and my fitness coach how I’m doing. I ask them if it is less than two years ago. They tell me that I am doing better than two years ago, “Beterbiev said at the closing press conference.

“If we compare it with the last one, this camp went very well. This camp was better. I want to thank my team, my conditioning coach, my boxing coach, my whole team and all my sparring partners who helped me. We had a good camp. “

In Smith (28-3, 22 KO), Beterbiev faces another heavy brawler who tries to use his strength and power to catch his opponent and end the battle.

It was a long way to the World Cup for Smith, who defeated Maxim Vlasov by a majority in April 2021 to win the WBO title. This was Smith’s 30th professional match. Earlier, Smith received a shot against WBA champion Dmitry Bivol in March 2019. Bivol dominated Smith in the battle, making a broad decision in which Smith won only two rounds.

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“I believe that this man is in his prime right now. I don’t think age has anything to do with it. I know he’s 100 percent here and ready to go. I know I’m here and I’m fighting one of the best, so I trained at 110%, “said Smith.” I extended this camp a little longer. I made sure I improved the things I didn’t do best. I stayed more consistent in my workouts, so I feel comfortable this weekend. “

Bivol’s presence in the division was outlined long before Beterbiev v. Smith. After Bivol was very disappointed with Saul Canello Alvarez, he has the biggest name – and probably the most skill – in the division. The winner of Saturday’s battle can be set to unite in four belts with Bivol to crown the undisputed champion in the light heavyweight division.

Saturday’s joint match brings the return of a highly respected prospect to Robesi Ramirez. The Cuban receives a severe test in the veteran Abraham Nova. Ramirez is 9-1 since making his professional debut in 2019 at a loss. Since then, he has defeated every man placed before him with relative ease.

“My level increases with the quality of the opponent I have in front of me. So I think my growth is due to the fact that I am increasing the level of my opposition and because we are increasing our work, both mentally and physically,” Ramirez said. at the final press conference.

“We decided to take this fight because it will lead to the title. We all know who Abraham is. We all know what a record he has. So victory would put us one step away from the title fight. This was the step we wanted to take and the battle we were looking for. We didn’t want to do a battle that wasn’t this. “

Beterbiev against Smith’s card, odds

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

Artur Beterbiev (c) -700

Joe Smith Jr. (c) +500

United Championship in light heavyweight category

Robizi Ramirez -450

Abraham Nova +350

Light category


Smith can hit and hit hard. Given that he is a talented fighter with serious strength, he is a very live outsider at +500. However, Beterbiev is a fantastic fighter and level above Smith. Smith must find a way to keep Beterbiev away from him and have room to fire his blows. However, this is a big request, as Beterbiev is exceptional at close range, goes inside and works both on the body and on the head.

This approach to battles is the reason for Beterbiev’s success. He forces opponents to fight from within, where there is an advantage, and defeats them until they simply have nothing left. Smith is strong enough to survive for a while, but not for 12 rounds. Pick: Artur Beterbiev via TKO9

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