Home Columns Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith – Results & Post-Fight Report

Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith – Results & Post-Fight Report

Beterbiev stops Smith to close in on Bivol clash

Artur Beterbiev stopped Callum Smith in the seventh round of their world light heavyweight title showdown in Canada on Saturday Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Artur Beterbiev stopped Callum Smith in the seventh round of their world light heavyweight title showdown in Canada on Saturday Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Artur Beterbiev retained his unified light heavyweight world titles with a brutal seventh round stoppage victory over Callum Smith in Canada on Saturday.

Beterbiev dropped Smith twice in the seventh round, before the Brit’s trainer Buddy McGirt signalled to referee Michael Griffin to end the bout with the WBC, WBO and IBF titlist, extending his perfect record to 20 straight wins all by knockout.

Question marks had surrounded Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) during fight week after it was revealed that the Russian-born Canadian had returned an atypical finding from a VADA test returned on December 6, but it was not deemed a violation and he was cleared to fighting having passed all subsequent VADA tests.

The 38-year-old, who halted Anthony Yarde in the eighth round last January, sent the visitor a stark warning of his power from the outset, stalking Smith (29-2, 21 KOs) and forcing him on the backfoot, whilst unleashing powerful combinations.

The former super middleweight world champion responded with a vastly improved second round, connecting with jabs to the body in a bid to slow down the home favourite, but a left hand jolted his head back and kept him in check.

Beterbiev dropped Smith twice in the seventh round before the fight was waved off Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Beterbiev dropped Smith twice in the seventh round before the fight was waved off Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

The challenger was marked up after a difficult third round and Beterbiev stepped up a gear in the fourth round, reining in heavy blows on the 33-year-old, who was forced to bravely soak up punishment on the ropes.

‘Mundo’, who had recorded two victories since moving up to light heavyweight, was being forced to let his hands go, however his shots did not seem to put enough of a dent in Beterbiev to deter him and he continued to march forward, despite shipping some solid body shots in the fifth.

Smith’s face was bloodied and the pressure that Beterbiev was applying finally took its toll in the seventh round.

Smith fell short in his bid to become a two-weight world champion Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Smith fell short in his bid to become a two-weight world champion Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

A huge right hand signalled the beginning of the Smith, who stumbled across the ring as the champion unleashed a volley of blows to send him to the canvas for the first time in his 31-fight professional career.

The Liverpudlian bravely rose to his feet at the count of eight and went for broke, trading with Beterbiev in a desperate bid to fend off the onrushing knockout artist, but he was down for a second time moments later after more devastating blows connected.

Smith’s trainer, McGirt stood on the ring apron and even went into the ring himself to signal that he wanted his charge withdrawn and the referee duly obliged.

Beterbiev retained his WBC, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Beterbiev retained his WBC, WBO and IBF light heavyweight titles Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Beterbiev extended his perfect record and set his sights on a long-awaited undisputed title showdown with WBA champion, Dmitry Bivol, with his promoter Bob Arum hinting that the fight could land in Saudi Arabia in the summer.

“Yes of course, [I want to fight Bivol],” Beterbiev told ESPN post-fight.

“I need the fourth belt. It would mean in this category, I have done it.

“It means a lot for me. It’s the top.”

Smith suffered a second professional defeat and his first by stoppage, with his last loss coming to Canelo Alvarez in December 2020.

“He had good momentum, good pressure, he stopped me getting into a rhythm,” he told ESPN post-fight. 

“The better man won tonight. He caught me with a good shot, it happens. Fair play. 

“No excuses, the better man won tonight.”

Mbilli calls out Canelo after retiring Murdock

Christian Mbilli closed in on a super middleweight world title shot after forcing Rohan Murdock to retire after six punishing rounds.

Mbilli (26-0, 22 KOs) was relentless from the opening bell and forced Murdock (27-3, 19 KOs) to fight on the back foot throughout most of the contest.

The unbeaten Frenchman had his foe staggered onto the ropes in the fifth round and the Australian did well to survive the onslaught.

The 31-year-old had a better sixth round, but was still eating heavy blows and he was withdrawn from his corner at the conclusion of the round.

Mbilli, who retained his WBC Continental Americas title, is the number one contender with both the WBC and WBA behind undisputed champion, Canelo Alvarez and called for a showdown with the Mexican.

“Everyone knows that Canelo is the best,” the 28-year-old told ESPN post-fight.

“Now I want to show I’m the best of the division.

Mbilli is the number one contender to Canelo Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank/Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions
Mbilli is the number one contender to Canelo Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank/Ryan Hafey/Premier Boxing Champions

“That is why my goal is to fight Canelo.

“I will do everything I can to fight Canelo.”

Moloney retains world title

Jason Moloney successfully defended his WBO bantamweight world title for the first time, edging past Saul Sanchez with a majority decision win.

Moloney, who claimed the vacant crown with a majority decision victory over Vincent Astrolabio in May, had to dig deep in what turned out to be a thrilling back-and-forth contest.

Moloney kept hold of his WBO bantamweight crown with a majority decision win over Sanchez Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Moloney kept hold of his WBO bantamweight crown with a majority decision win over Sanchez Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

The bout ebbed and flowed and seemed on a knife-edge heading into a pulsating final round, which saw both men swing away until the final bell.

Two scores of 116-112 overruled a 114-114 drawn scorecard to ensure Moloney (27-2, 19 KOs) retained his title, despite a brave effort from Sanchez (20-3, 12 KOs), who was fighting in his first world title bout.

Khataev halts Ludwiczak

Imam Khataev continued his knockout streak with a second stoppage over Michal Ludwiczak (17-3-1, 9 KOs).

Khataev (6-0, 6 KOs), a 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, claimed the vacant NABF light heavyweight crown with a sixth straight win.

Remaining Undercard

Elsewhere at light heavyweight, Memhet Unal (8-0, 7 KOs) secured a first round stoppage victory over Dragan Lepei (22-7-2, 10 KOs).

Canadian welterweight prospect, Christopher Guerrero (10-0, 5 KOs) secured a tenth straight professional win with a unanimous decision over Sergio Garcia Herrera (7-4, 4 KOs).

Leila Beuadoin gained revenge over Elizabeth Chavez Espinoza in their rematch at super featherweight.

Mexico’s Espinoza (4-6-3, 1 KO) won their first outing by unanimous decision in her home country, but suffered the reverse result against Beuadoin (11-1, 1 KO), this time in her hometown.

Moreno Fendero (3-0, 2 KOs) knocked out Victor Hugo Flores (7-3, 3 KOs) in the first round of their super middleweight encounter, whilst Quebec native, Wilkens Mathieu (6-0, 3 KOs) extended his unbeaten record with a unanimous decision win over Jose Arias Alvarez (3-2, 1 KO).

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