Artur Beterbiev returned to the ring for the primary time in over a yr on Saturday evening, defeating Callum Smith through seventh spherical TKO. The win marks the second protection of his unified mild heavyweight titles after successful the WBO belt in June of 2022.
Smith suffered simply the second lack of his profession, with the opposite coming by the hands of Canelo Alvarez.
Who’s subsequent for Beterbiev?
Beterbiev got here out of the gates scorching, placing Smith on the ropes inside the first 30 seconds of the struggle. He then received spherical after spherical after spherical, constantly touchdown face and physique punches alike.
A big fourth spherical from the Russian-Canadian practically noticed Smith go down, however the Englishman stayed in there. Within the seventh, Beterbiev knocked down Smith twice. Smith had by no means hit the canvas in his profession earlier than tonight.
Smith’s nook stepped in and ended the struggle. It was all Beterbiev from begin to end.
Certainly, Beterbiev’s subsequent struggle needs to be towards Dmitry Bivol. Bivol holds the ultimate key to being undisputed: the WBA mild heavyweight belt. Bivol is coming off of one more title protection, having overwhelmed Lyndon Arthur by unanimous choice in late December.
A struggle towards Canelo has been rumored, however it’s a dangerous proposition for each fighters. At 38 years previous, proper now might be his final likelihood to turn out to be undisputed.