Callum Smith fights Artur Beterbiev at the perfect time

By Charles Brown: Paul Smith thinks his brother Callum Smith catches Artur Beterbiev at the right time in his career and is ready to send him to his first loss on August 19.

IBF, WBC and WBO light heavyweight champion Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) looked beatable in his last fight against Anthony Yarde last January before turning on the heat in the eighth to score a weary warrior knockout.

Callum (29-1, 21 KOs) hopes to take advantage of the age of Beterbiev, 38, when they meet next month in the main event on August 19 at the Videotron Center in Quebec City.

Boxing fans would give Callum a better chance of winning if he at least beat someone with a pulse because he was bothered by Canelo Alvarez in December 2020. This was arguably the second time the 6’3″ stork-like Smith was beaten.

Smith has only fought twice since the loss to Canelo, beating a journeyman Lenin Castillo And Mathieu Bauderlique. If Callum beat some quality guys you could at least give him a shot at beating Beterrbiev, but the reality is the opposition he faced was terrible.

Sadly, Callum hasn’t shown any improvement since that dark, cold night in December 2020 when the Mexican treated him like a pinata, hitting him at will with nothing coming back.

The first unofficial time Callum was whipped was in 2019 against John Ryder, in which he spent the majority of the fight taking cover on the ropes as he was bombarded mercilessly.

What was shocking, or maybe not, was that Callum got the win. With the fight taking place in Callum’s hometown of Liverpool, some boxing fans believe that’s why he didn’t suffer his first career defeat.

Does Callum catch Beterbiev at the right time?

“Look, Callum is very confident, and we’re very confident, and I know what Beterbiev is. I know what he is more than most. I’ve been in boxing way longer than the average person to know what type of fighter he’s been from his amateur days until today,” Paul Smith told Boxing News of IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev.

“He’s a monster, but boxing is about timing, and we’re all about timing. Kostya Tszyu vs. Ricky Hatton, two years ago, maybe that didn’t happen,” said Smith about Hatton grabbing former light welterweight champion Kostya Tszyu at the right time when he was 36 and no longer in his prime.

Beterbiev cannot be compared with the position of Kostya Tszyu. Tszyu had dealt with injuries and inactivity, and he had to take off a lot of weight to prepare for the fight with Ricky Hatton. Even with all of that, Tszyu was the better fighter that night.

Tszyu lost because Hatton was allowed to maim him, turning the fight into a wrestling match without being taken out and penalized for constant wrestling. Hatton literally got away with murdering Tszyu. If the referee had been on the ball that night, he would have penalized Ricky all night until he changed his game plan or was disqualified.

That’s why when Hatton fought Floyd Mayweather Jr referrer Joe Cortez wasn’t going to support his Greek wrestling and penalized him and didn’t allow him to turn the fight into a lousy lousy standup wrestling match, like Rickhy had been allowed to go against Tszyu.

“I believe, we believe Callum has a brilliant chance, and we believe he has Beterbiev at the right time,” Paul said.

Does Callum Smith receive Beterbiev at the right time? The power and skill that Beterbiev showed against Yarde is far better than what Callum showed in his only two fights at 175 against Castillo and the little known Bauderlique.

You could give Smith a chance to win if he had fought someone with an ability like Craig Richards or Joshua Buatsi.

“I hope it’s like that. I hope it’s like that from the first bell. I’m more confident that Callum has the clapping hands, and I’m more confident in Callum’s chin, and I am more confident in the power of Callum,” said Paul.

Beterbiev’s potency could be a problem

“You ask any trainer or anyone he’s been in the ring with. His power is phenomenal. He has frightening power in both hands for head and body. Look, I’m starting to sound like a salesman, but I strongly believe in him. We’ll see on August 19,” Smith said of his hopes of his brother Callum beating Beterbiev.

“Boot camp is flying. I hear good things from him. He profits. He does a good job. I watch clips of Buddy and Callum himself. He’s doing great,” Paul told Lights Out of Callum Smith training for Beterbiev.

Most boxing fans would agree that Beterbiev has greater inside game, punching power, ring IQ, stamina and overall ability than Callum Smith.

It’s not a blow to Smith. He’s a great fringe-level contender, but he clearly doesn’t deserve his WBC mandatory status. His opposition since moving to 175 has been abysmal, and it’s unclear what the World Boxing Council was thinking in making Smith’s fight with Bauderlique a title eliminator.

“As long as he’s in top form, he’s got a brilliant chance. I’m really, really confident. He has to be able to have twelve rounds in him, which he has,” Paul said of Callum. “He has to be able to weather the storm when it comes, which he can do and has always done in the past, and he has to land shots when he sees an opening, and he’ll see a lot of openings because they are there.

“People had good performances against him [Beterbiev]. I think Callum is better than all these people [Anthony Yarde, Oleksandr Gvozdyk, and Callum Johnson] who had good performances against him.

This writer disagrees that Callum is better than Johnson, Yarde and Gvozdyk. These three guys reportedly beat Callum the night they fought Beterbiev.

“It’s all about timing, and now is the perfect time to do it. [Beterbiev] NOW. There’s no better chance than now,” Paul said.

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