Beterbiev doesn't want to overlook Smith on Saturday as the prospect of Bivol looms should he win

Artur Beterbiev is happy.

The IBF, WBO, and WBC light heavyweight champion defends his titles against his WBC mandatory challenger, Callum Smith, on Saturday, January 13, live on ESPN, taking place in Quebec, Canada.

Beterbiev is currently 38-years-old. At times he has coming off as intimidating, especially with his historically great knockout streak. Nineteen pro fights, all of which ending by way of KO. Yet, mere weeks before his 39th birthday Beterbiev appeared jovial, something that has not always been the case at today’s press event.

"I am happy," said Beterbiev at Thursday's press conference. "I am boxer, I am sportsman.”

Beterbiev is one of the greats of the era. He unified and stopped a terrific world champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2019. He was an underdog for that fight. He never got the credit he probably deserved for that win.

Beterbiev is known for one word answers and wry smiles, yet today came a bit of storytelling. Beterbiev gave an example to his motivation to train as hard as he does. He finds inspiration in older people to still getting active and not making excuses.

"Sevon o'clock morning, I am maybe a little bit lazy. I see all the people seventy-seven, eighty something [years-old], and [I am] not lazy anymore.”

Beterbiev is one fight away from an undisputed light heavyweight fight.

It is rumored, and seemingly assumed that a fight between himself and Dmitry Bivol will occur if Beterbiev gets through Smith on Saturday — something that should not be overlooked. That fight is alleged to take place in Saudi Arabia. Beterbiev spoke like how he fights judiciously, looking to convey his point in as few words as possible.

Beterbiev said the following: “Ask me after the fight, please,” he said, when asked what is left for him to accomplish in the sport.