Stephen Smith previews Callum's upcoming clash with Artur Beterbiev
Former world title challenger Stephen Smith previewed Callum Smith's upcoming clash against Artur Beterbiev with Betway.
The two-weight British champion, now 38, spoke excitedly about his younger brother Callum's power at 175lbs and how he believes he can beat WBC, IBF, WBO World light-heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev, when they meet in January next year, and even look ahead to a potential future fight against Dmitry Bivol to become undisputed.
How good does Callum Smith look at light heavyweight?
SS: It suits him really well. The size of him, everyone used to comment how big he looked at 168lbs and he used to do it well but it did get tight towards the end and he’s not got the body type which he takes much weight off or put weight on, he’s just one of those people genetically. The move to light heavyweight, we’ve seen he’s kept all of his strength and has had some devastating knockouts. He’s feeling good and strong. He had a great camp for the [postponed] Artur Beterbiev camp and it was a shame as a family, we had two brothers in camp for big fights. Liam’s camp was ridiculously bad and Callum’s was absolutely brilliant and it was just the wrong fight to go through. It’s just the way luck works sometimes.
What are the keys to victory for Callum Smith against Artur Beterbiev? Can age can play a factor?
SS: Definitely, but I’m confident of what Callum brings to the table, he’s got to pick his moment and he’s got to get a stamp of his authority and get Beterbiev’s respect. It’s a fight that suits Callum. We know Beterbiev will be confident of his own power, he’s got a 100% knockout ratio, he’s got that for a reason and he can definitely bang and be confident in his own punches. However, we’ve got a good anticipation for this fight as it suits Callum quite well. If he anticipates the shots properly and let’s his hands go, he can hurt anyone on the planet. If he hurts Beterbiev, he’s got to get him out of there.
Would Dmitry Bivol be on Callum’s radar if he beats Beterbiev?
SS: Definitely so. If he goes and beats Beterbiev, he’s got three world titles at light heavyweight and then an undisputed fight is huge. We’ve seen in the modern era that there hasn’t been too many to have won all four belts and it’d be a historic thing for Callum to do and go for. That will be his first target – an undisputed fight after (Beterbiev) but if that can’t be made I can’t see why he can’t go up another weight and win another world title.
How do you beat Bivol?
SS: Bivol is a different fighter to Beterbiev. I think Beterbiev will come and give you more opportunities while Bivol is more on his feet. A lot of people read into the Canelo fight and praise Bivol, and rightly so for his performance, but there are definitely weaknesses there with Bivol and you need to stamp your authority against Bivol and you’ve got to make him dance to your tune rather than let him go into his own rhythm, his in and out movement, and read his rhythm, land your shots and make the action go the way you want it go.
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