Beterbiev Destroys Smith Jr. in Two Rounds
FightersTalkTV.com – What a surprising fight! In a light heavyweight title unification on Saturday night in New York, Artur Beterbiev unexpectedly stops and destroys Joe Smith Jr. in just two rounds. Beterbiev dropped Smith three times to win by TKO to remain the IBF and WBC champion and added the WBO belt with the quick victory.
In the opening round, Smith was the aggressor coming at Beterbiev, who landed a few rights that got around Smith’s guard. Beterbiev took back the control by connecting a series of overhand rights and made Smith touch the canvas in the last minute of the first round. But the referee, Harley Dock, ruled it was a slip rather than a knockdown. Beterbiev did not have long to wait for the first legitimate knockdown of the fight, once again after a clubbing overhand right, forcing Smith to take a standing count at the end of the first. However, it was the first knockdown in Smith’s career.
Joe Smith Jr. got his last knocked down from Artur Beterbiev in the second round. Getty Images – Getty
When the second round began, the question was only whether Smith would be able to cling on. Unfortunately, Smith made the mistake of going fire-for-fire with Beterbiev, and once again, Beterbiev struck Smith with the same exact punch, a looping right to the side of the head. In the middle of the second, Smith was down for the second time under a variety of shots, falling against the ropes. Finally, Beterbiev cranked up a right uppercut that made Smith go stumbling backward and stopped him when the second round had forty seconds left. Dock saw enough and waved it over.
With this quick victory, Beterbiev improves his record to 18-0 and maintains his insane 100% KO rate, as all of his victories have been by stoppage. That impressive record includes his seven knockouts in world championship bouts. Meanwhile, Smith was reportedly taken to hospital immediately after the bout and did not speak to the media, fell to 28-4 after the fourth defeat of his career.
“I need a little bit more time (to feel what this means),” Beterbiev said. “Right now, I don’t feel it. In a couple of days, I will understand.“
“I want to be a good boxer one day, maybe,” he added. “My coach tells me it’s not far to become a good boxer.”
“Joe is a little bit open, and it’s easy to me to get to him,” he said. “We’re two fighters who both have a good punch, and we both tried to land first. This time, I was lucky, I got him first. That’s it.“
Beterbiev holds three of the four recognized world titles at 175 pounds, those are the WBC, IBF, and WBO. Beterbiev naturally expressed an interest in the biggest fight in the division, an undisputed championship bout with Dmitry Bivol, who is coming off a big upset win over Canelo Alvarez in May. The fight to be made would naturally be Beterbiev against WBA (super) titlist and Canelo Alvarez conqueror Dmitry Bivol to determine the first undisputed light heavyweight champion. There is also a bout with WBO mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde, who was in attendance. Beterbiev didn’t seem interested in Yarde and wants to make history with Bivol.
“I have had two unification fights,” Beterbiev said. “Unification fights are more interesting. I prefer a unified fight. I want to be undisputed.“
Let’s wait to see who will be the next Beterbiev‘s opponent and stop his record.
Here is the Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr. fight highlight.