Beterbiev Destroys Joe Smith Jr
Unified Light Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev continued his path of destruction through the 175lb division. His latest victim? Joe Smith Jr. From the opening bell, it was pure brutality. Beterbiev knocked down smith once in the 1st round and twice in the 2nd, leading the ref to wave off the fight. I was at the fight and I felt the stoppage was a bit premature. Smith was still alert and moving... BUT the ref saved him from further punishment in a fight that just wasn't going his way. So in that sense, it was a good stoppage. Smith was not turning that fight around. He is a come forward blue collar fighter that plays right into what Beterbiev does.
So what is next for Artur Beterbiev, now 18-0, 18 KOs ... only one guy left for him in the division - fellow Russian, Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11KOs). Outside of Spence-Crawford.... Beterbiev-Bivol is the biggest fight in boxing to be made. Beterbiev is getting up there in age (will be 38 in january) - doesn't look it though... but we all know that father time is undefeated. I would like to see this fight before the year ends. It's a must make fight. Politics between DAZN (Bivol) and ESPN+ (Beterbiev) will be the number 1 issue, and Bob Arum and Eddie Hearn will need to figure something out. Can Beterbiev finish his mission and snatch the WBA (Super) title from Bivol... or will his role as the Boogeyman get reversed on him? Will Bivol put on a boxing clinic and neutralize the aggressive Beterbiev? All fun questions, all fun scenarios to think about until the fight happens.