Artur Beterbiev Destroys Joe Smith Jr in One-sided Massacre!
In their most recent in-ring assignment, WBC and IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KO’s) took on WBO 175-pound champion Joe “The Common Man” Smith Jr (28-4, 22 KO’s). The important belt-consolidating dustup took place in Madison Square Garden and was about as close to a real life Rocky 4 type of situation as one can ask for. Here, blue-collar worker Smith is pit against the highly skilled, powerful Russian destroyer toting a 100% knockout ratio.
Despite his rather unlikely background, Smith Jr has steadfastly proven over and over that he is the real deal. This began with his stunning 2016 upset of Andrezj Fonfara. Directly following that sensational win, The Common Man continued to defy expectations by literally knocking boxing phenomenon Bernard Hopkins out the ring and into retirement. Since that career-defining victory, Smith Jr has lost twice to Sullivan Barrera and Super WBA 175-pound champion Dmitry Bivol. Currently though, The Common Man is on a four-fight win streak and coming directly off a ninth round knockout of Steve Geffrard.
HE AIN’T JUST ANOTHER FIGHTER!
Thus far in his career, Beterbiev has proven to be a true wrecking machine by vanquishing all opposition. During his last match though, against Marcus Browne, the unified Russian champion did have to navigate a bit of turbulence before and during the fight. This is due to initially coming in a few ounces overweight at the weigh-in and sustaining a nasty cut which bled like a red river.
Thankfully for him, Beterbiev was able to both make weight on a later attempt and stalk, beat down then stop Browne in the ninth. This match with Smith Jr will stand as the six defense of his IBF strap and third defense of the WBC title. To collect his belts, Beterbiev scalped Enrico Koelling (vacant IBF) and Oleksandr Gvozdyk (WBC).Yet, both fighters entered this affair hoping to then face Super WBA titlist Bivol to determine the undisputed champion of the division.
I MUST BREAK YOU!!
The bout began at a very brisk pace as Joe Smith Jr tried to set the tone with his jab and volume. For a good part of it this worked, but only for a little bit. On his end, Beterbiev was landing a number of crisp, clean hooks around Smith’s high guard and throwing sneaky punches on the move. In the closing moments of the opening round, a looping overhand right that bounced off his head put Smith on one knee.
The same shot sank him to a knee again in the second period. Several seconds later, while pressed against the ropes, The Common Man was subsequently beaten through the middle ropes spurring a third knock down. With all the writing written on the wall, Harvey Dock gave Smith one more chance. Loosed back in the ring, Smith continued to devour and absorb brutally accurate power shots to the head. The destructive and productive right hook never stopped raining down.
Being knocked all around the canvas like a cartoonish 8-bit character on Ring King, referee Harvey Dock had seen enough and called a halt to the action in the second. It was most assuredly the correct decision. Now, if all goes smoothly, Beterbiev is headed to a prizefight to determine undisputed with Dmitry Bivol. At least that was the sentiment as this was the fight the Russian said he wanted in the post-fight interview.
Reading Time: 3 minutes
By: Bakari Simpson