Prediction for the fight Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr.

Undefeated world champions in the light heavyweight division, undefeated Russian Artur "White Puncher" Beterbiev (WBC / IBF titles) and US representative, Joe Smith Jr. (WBO title), will be held on June 18 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr.

Artur Beterbiev

A 37-year-old native of Dagestan, Artur Beterbiev, is known as the most formidable puncher in the light heavyweight division (nicknamed the “White Puncher”), who won all 17 fights ahead of schedule in the pro ring, where he has been performing since 2013, living and training in Montreal. After warming up on journeymen and winning several regional titles (WBA-NABA, WBO-NABO, IBF Noth American, WBO International), in November 2017, Beterbiev received a fight for the vacant IBF title and used the opportunity by knocking out German fighter Enrico Kelling in the 12th round.

Having defended the title twice, the Russian replenished his collection with the WBC belt (October 2019), in a unification fight with its owner, undefeated Ukrainian Oleksandr Gvozdyk (TKO, round 10). In 2021, Beterbiev held two successful defenses of the championship belts:

  • March 20, in Moscow, won, by technical knockout in the 10th round, against Adam Daines (Germany, 19-1-1);
  • On December 17, in Montreal, he knocked out American Marcus Brown (24-1) in the 9th round.
Beterbiev is right-handed, height 182 cm, arm span 188 cm. Collaborates with Top Rank promotion company.

Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr.

Joe Smith Jr.

The WBO title holder in the light heavyweight division, 32-year-old American Joe Smith Jr., began his professional career in 2009, but only after 7 years he got to the first trophy, having won the secondary WBC International championship belt (he defeated the Pole Andrzej Fonfara, by technical knockout in 1st round). In the same year, he defended his title by knocking out the famous American veteran Bernard Hopkins in the 8th round.

In March 2019, Smith Jr. contested the WBA belt in a duel with the long-term champion of this version, undefeated Russian Dmitry Bivol, and lost the fight on all counts, although he lasted all 12 rounds (twice 119-109 and 118-110). The following year, the American had two victorious fights:

  • Defeated Jesse Hart (USA, 26-2) by split decision to win the NW title. America according to WBO NABO;
  • He defeated Spaniard Eleider Alvarez by TKO in the 9th round and became the mandatory contender for the WBO championship fight.
04/10/2021 Joe Smith Jr. won the main career title - the WBO belt, defeating Russian Maxim Vlasov (45-3) by majority decision. In the last fight, 01/15/2022, he defended the title, knocking out compatriot Steve Jeffrard (18-2) in the 9th round, who came out on short notice, replacing the mandatory challenger, Briton Callum Johnson.

Smith Jr. right-handed, height 183 cm, arm span 193 cm. Lives and trains in New York.

Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr. Fight Prediction

The light heavyweight division has come close to determining the absolute champion and the Beterbiev-Smith Jr. fight, where three main belts will be at stake, opens the way for the winner to the coveted title of "absolute", which makes the fight highly motivated, and to some extent eliminates the advantage of the favorite . There is no doubt that the “White Puncher” is such, but not only the motivational component can help the American to conduct a competitive fight.

Smith Jr. a strong-willed fighter, with a strong chin and powerful blows from both hands (prefers hooks), and he is trained to work on the floors, which may unpleasantly surprise Beterbiev. The whole question is whether Joe will be able to contain the pressure of Arthur, working as a second number, which he is not used to. Much will be decided in the opening rounds - if the Russian quickly finds gaps in the opponent's defense and picks up a working distance, then functional training may not be needed for a 12-round confrontation, because. Beterbiev's strike power will have an effect much earlier.

The Russian, of course, has several tactical preparations, and if he fails to quickly crush the opponent, plan “B” will be included, where Beterbiev’s advantage in the class will play a decisive role - Arthur is obliged to outbox Smith Jr., who is significantly inferior to him in art outfighting. Generally accepted statistics and anthropometry, where the American does not look like an underdog, in this case can be practically ignored. Install the 1xbet app and place a bet on the favorite!

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