Artur Beterbiev was nonetheless good as he approached his 39th birthday.
The 175-pound titleholder hadn’t fought in a yr when he stepped by way of the ropes to face Callum Smith on Jan. 13 in Quebec Metropolis, Canada, however neither his superior age nor the layoff was evident in his efficiency.
Beterbiev pummeled his completed opponent, dropped him twice and eventually stopped him the seventh spherical, making Smith his 20th knockout sufferer in as many fights.
The winner was modest afterward, saying, “It’s due to luck. It’s my coach (Marc Ramsay). My group works arduous with me, too. Possibly that’s why, too. However I believe it’s due to luck.”
Luck had nothing to do with it. He demonstrated in emphatic trend that he stays among the best fighters on the earth — he’s No. 12 on Boxing Junkie’s pound for pound record — and arguably the highest 175-pounder of his era.
Thus, he earned Boxing Junkie Fighter of the Month honors for January.
Beterbiev’s dominating victory wasn’t the results of sheer aggression. The three-belt champion used his boxing expertise and expertise to patiently, methodically break down his opponent till the challenger may now not struggle again.
The outcome was each brutal and thorough, which underscored Beterbiev’s repute as a fearsome beast.
Certainly, he has by no means regarded higher as he approaches the largest matchup of his decade-long profession, a showdown with fellow titleholder Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed gentle heavyweight championship in late spring or summer time.
We’ll see whether or not Beterbiev is as much as the problem of going through Bivol in the event that they attain a deal. Bivol, the conqueror of famous person Canelo Alvarez, is extra skillful than Smith.
Nonetheless, Beterbiev, who turned 39 on Jan. 21, clearly is risk to anybody at or close to his weight. That couldn’t have been extra apparent on Jan. 13.
“They speak about his power and punching energy,” mentioned Buddy McGirt, Smith’s coach, “however he’s a really sensible fighter. He’s gonna be robust to beat.”