In the long tradition of thunderous light heavyweight collisions, hard-hitting Russian warrior Artur Beterbiev puts his unified championship on the line against Britain’s Callum Smith at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City on January 13.
Beterbiev, 38, is the reigning IBF, WBC and WBO titleholder at 175 pounds. He is the only active world champion in boxing with a 100-percent knockout ratio, having halted all 19 of his opponents since turning professional in 2013. In his most recent outing, in January 2023, Beterbiev stopped Smith’s countryman Anthony Yarde in eight rounds.
Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) promises to put forth a formidable challenge. The Liverpool man is a former WBA and Ring Magazine super middleweight champion and he has carried his power up to light heavyweight. Since losing a decision to Canelo Alvarez in 2020, the 33-year-old boxer-puncher has scored shuddering knockouts over Lenin Castillo and Mathieu Bauderlique.
The Sporting News takes a look at the betting line for Beterbiev vs. Smith and predicts the outcome of this eagerly anticipated world title bout.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith betting odds
Per BetMGM, Beterbiev is the +333 favourite while Smith is the -450 underdog.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith betting trends
- Beterbiev via KO/TKO/Tech. Dec/DQ: -200
- Beterbiev via decision: +400
- Smith via KO/TKO/Tech. Dec/ DQ: +650
- Smith via decision: +800
- Draw: +2000
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith prediction, best bets
Beterbiev is the favourite for several reasons. His power and aggression are chilling, he’s a career-long light heavyweight, and he’s won more fights at the elite level than has Smith.
Since winning his first world title at the expense of Enrico Kolling in November 2017, the former amateur star has been in the pound-for-pound conversation. Signature triumphs have come against Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Marcus Browne and Joe Smith Jr.
However, while Beterbiev carries the notoriety of a horror movie villain, he is far from infallible. The Russian star was floored by Smith’s former stablemate Callum Johnson in 2018 and Yarde’s power punches were also having an effect in their high-contact encounter. He’s 38 years old now and has been boxing for over 20 years, amateur and pro.
Smith is a big hitter himself and an adept counterpuncher. If Beterbiev becomes too aggressive, then he could get nailed by something massive on the way in. The Englishman’s left hook is his best punch and if that shot lands flush, then the champion will know all about it. Also, while Smith has been out of action for 16 months, Beterbiev has been out for a year himself.
I think it’s worth backing the underdog here. Timing is everything in boxing, inside and outside the ring. It’s a risky choice, but I see Smith rocking Beterbiev’s world and pulling off a shocker.