Artur Beterbiev will be looking to unify the light heavyweight division when he takes on Joe Smith Jnr at Madison Square Garden.
Artur Beterbiev v Joe Smith Jnr WBC, IBF & WBO Light Heavyweight Title Fight Boxing Odds, Tips & Predictions:
Artur Beterbiev puts his undefeated record and WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles on the line in New York this weekend when he goes toe-to-toe with WBO champion Joe Smith Jnr.
The Russian-born fighter won the IBF belt in November 2017 when he knocked out Enrico Kolling in the 12th round. He then added the WBC belt to his collection in October 2019 when he gained a 10th round stoppage win over Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
This will be his third defence of both titles. His last fight saw him knock Marcus Browne out in the ninth round.
Beterbiev has won all 17 of his professional fights with every single one of them ending with a stoppage. The 37-year-old might be getting on in years, but he still packs a punch.
American Joe Smith Jnr is the WBO champion after he won a majority points decision over Maxim Vlasov last April.
He has had one title defence, when he stopped Steve Geffrad in the ninth round. He will now be looking to add two more belts to his collection at the expense of Beterbiev.
Beterbiev is ranked number two by the RING at light heavyweight, while Smith Jnr is ranked at three.
Smith has a record of 31 fights, 28 wins and three defeats. Twenty-two of those fights have been won by knockout. He has beaten the likes of Bernard Hopkins and Jesse Hart, but he failed to get the job done against Dmitry Bivol when they fought in 2019 – not something to be ashamed about to be honest.
Despite being five years younger than Beterbiev, Smith Jnr is more experienced. He has fought 14 more times, but this time experience will not be a factor.
I am backing Beterbiev to win this by a late knockout. The Russian will not stop swinging, and I expect him to stop Smith Jnr in the 10th round.
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