Callum Smith is the man to dethrone light heavyweight kingpin Artur Beterbiev – that’s the view of Smith’s city compatriot, Tony Bellew.
Beterbiev had his hand raised after 8 rounds of a back and forth war with Anthony Yarde at the OVO Arena on Saturday night.
The back and forth affair seemed to be swinging Yarde’s way when he was caught with thunderous shots in the 8th from Beterbiev that put him on the canvas. After beating the count and showing the desire to resume, the Brit’s corner threw in the towel to save him for another day.
Speaking on his official Twitter account, Bellew stated he believes Smith would knock ‘King Artur’ out in six rounds.
“Styles make fights and people are all gonna shoot me down here but I’m gonna say it anyway! Callum Smith knocks Beterbiev out within 6 rounds! He’s too open and too easy to hit! I’ve said he’s vulnerable and it’ll show when he fights Callum.”
“I think he beats anyone who’s gonna stand in front of him and try and just trade! The fighter to beat him will either be a spiteful counterpuncher who likes to catch and counter (ie Callum Smith) or a brilliant technician with great footwork like (Bivol)”
“He’s [tailor] made for Callum Smith in my honest opinion… I don’t know why I’m so confident in this I just see such a perfect clash and Callum’s catch and counter style doing Beterbiev and doing it quickly as well. Time will tell.”
Styles make fights and people are all gonna shoot me down here but I’m gonna say it anyway! Callum Smith knocks Beterbiev out within 6 rounds! He’s too open and too easy to hit! I’ve said he’s vulnerable and it’ll show when he fights Callum. #BeterbievSmith
— Tony Bellew (@TonyBellew) January 28, 2023
Smith looks set to be next for Beterbiev after the WBC confirmed him as mandatory challenger for their title at their annual convention in Acapulco.
The former super middleweight world champion is due to return to action on March 11th on a hometown show in Liverpool before looking towards a clash with Beterbiev this summer.
As for Yarde, he came into the contest as a sizeable betting underdog and, despite failing to get his hand raised, his stock seems to have risen amongst those in the boxing world.
Fellow domestic light heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi was working as a pundit for BT Sport and fans have called for the pair to lock horns next, although Buatsi is thought to be angling for a shot at WBA world champion Dmitry Bivol