- What: Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith
- Where: Quebec City
- When: Saturday, January 13th
Artur Beterbiev's WBC, WBO, and IBF light heavyweight titles will be on the line on Saturday, January 13th when he faces Callum Smith in a massive bout. This is a long-awaited matchup that was initially supposed to happen last summer, but Beterbiev had to undergo jaw surgery. That means this is his first fight in 12 months, while Smith last stepped in the ring in for the first time in 17 months. There could be some rust for both guys here. Nevertheless, it's one of the biggest bouts of the new year and by the end of it, we could have a new light heavyweight champion. Below, find the Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith picks.
Beterbiev vs Smith Odds
Beterbiev is a clear favorite here at -450 odds for an implied win probability of 81.82%. Smith returns at +325 and has a 23.53% chance of taking this one. The over/under in rounds is set at 8.5. These two have never met before.
Can Beterbiev Get it Done?
Beterbiev is one of the best around and the only reigning champion to have a 100% knockout record. He's 19-0 and every single opponent has ended up on the canvas. That's an accomplishment in itself. The Russian-Canadian is unbeaten in eight title contests. The last time Beterbiev fought was in January of last year when he knocked out Anthony Yarde in the eighth round in London, retaining all three of his belts. He's had the IBF belt since since 2017, the WBC since 2019, and the WBO since June of 2022.
The Russian also had a great amateur career, emerging as one of the most promising up-and-comers in the sport, losing only 10 times in 305 fights before turning professional. He even beat Oleksandr Usyk, although the Ukrainian also defeated him twice.
Beterbiev is a very skilled boxer with serious power and experience. He's also technical and capable of going many rounds before finishing his opponent. Smith won't be an easy win though, so Beterbiev needs to bring his best. Fighting in his own backyard should help. This will be Beterbiev's 12th fight in Quebec. That being said, it doesn't really matter where he's fought, Beterbiev is just a winner.
Big Opportunity For Smith
Smith (29-1, 21 KO) is one of four brothers who have enjoyed a boatload of success in boxing. Callum is probably the most established though, capturing the WBA Super and The Ring Magazine super-middleweight belts. The 33-year-old has only fought twice in the light heavyweight division before but he's seen as a good opponent for Beterbiev.
The Brit's only loss came to none other than Canelo Alvarez back in 2020, but it was a battle. Smith lasted 12 rounds with the four-weight champion, who is considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. It showed that Smith is no pushover who is capable of competing for titles. Since the defeat to Canelo, Smith has bounced back with a pair of stoppages. He knocked out Lenin Castillo in two rounds in September of 2021 and then put Mathieu Bauderlique on the canvas in August of 2022 in Riyadh as part of the Usyk vs Joshua II undercard.
The Liverpool native was a star at the amateur level and captured silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games before turning pro in 2012. He's had a very nice career since then and getting to face Canelo was a testament to just that. Stepping in the ring with Beterbiev is going to be his most difficult bout since Alvarez but Smith's skillset suggests he can give the Russian a run for his money. Smith is powerful, technical, and has a nice hook. But, he also has that knockout power. Expect January 13th to be an entertaining one.
Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith Picks
You got two guys that have never been knocked out and one has never lost in his career. Could that first defeat be coming? It's very possible. But, instead of focusing on a winner between Beterbiev and Smith, I'm going to look at the over 8.5 rounds. This could go the full 12 in Quebec.
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