Callum Smith Salivates for the Chance to Dethrone Beterbiev
Former WBA super middleweight champion Callum “Mundo” Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) gets the opportunity to become a two-division champion when he challenges unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) on January 13, 2024 in Quebec City, Canada. Despite fighting in the adopted home country of the champion, Smith is not only confident that he will win, but he believes that he’s stopping Beterbiev inside the distance.
It’s been a long wait for Smith, the WBC mandatory challenger at 175. He and Beterbiev were to fight on August 19. But the fight was postponed after the champion underwent surgery on his jaw.
WILL PATIENCE PAY OFF?
During an exclusive interview with Matchroom Boxing, Smith said the additional time for this fight to occur has been a frustrating ordeal. But it has fueled his fire to take care of business against the unified champion.
“I’ve been thinking about him for nearly two years now . . . I’ve always watched him and felt I’ve got the style to beat him, and I like my chances in this fight . . . The more and more in the gym, I’m very confident I can go over there and take his belts off of him.”
Winning all of his fights by stoppage, the power of Beterbiev speaks for itself. With his pressure and take-no-prisoners attitude in the ring, the defending champion is one of the most intimidating and punishing fighters in boxing. However, the Canadian transplant is 38 years old and didn’t look his usual dominant self in his last outing, an eighth-round stoppage over Anthony Yarde in January 2023.
Some in the boxing community feel that Beterbiev is showing signs of slippage. Smith feels the unified champion is vulnerable and there for the taking. Noting that Beterbiev has been down in his career, the challenger from Great Britain feels he has the tools to exact his pound of flesh.
“I’ve seen him hurt before. So, if they can do it, I can certainly do it . . . I know I can hurt him, and I believe I can stop him.”
If Beterbiev is indeed a fighter in decline, Smith has the boxing skill and power to expose him. Mundo is chomping at the bit. In his mind, there’s no doubt he’s leaving the ring in Canada with the light heavyweight titles wrapped around his waist.