Praise pours in for 'freak of nature' Beterbiev following KO win over Smith

Artur Beterbiev set tongues wagging on social media following his Saturday win over Callum Smith, defeating the Liverpudlian in seven rounds following two knockdowns, which saw trainer Buddy McGirt withdraw Smith with just over a minute remaining in the round.

A clinical performance from Beterbiev tees up the possibility of an undisputed title encounter with Dmitry Bivol, which all parties are optimistic that a deal for the contest can be signed, sealed and delivered for the benefit of the sport, sportingly.

WBC lightweight champion and Top Rank promotional stablemate Shakur Stevenson on X stated that Beterbiev was a killer, but is backing Bivol to defeat Beterbiev if and when the pair meet

"Beterbiev a killer for sure but I’m still taking Bivol," he said. "Hit me when the fight is close I’m taking all bets."

DAZN commentator and former pro Sergio Mora is already anticipating a clash between Beterbiev-Bivol as a clash between a fighter and a boxer.

"In order to beat a BEAST like Beterbiev, you need an intelligent jab, discipline, patience and footwork! Everything his next opponent has… #BeterbievBivol will be a CLASSIC clash of styles between PUNCHER vs Boxer."

Douglas Fischer, editor-in-chief of The Ring magazine, praised coach McGirt for pulling Smith out of the contest when he did.

“That's what happens when Beterbiev switches gears. Buddy did the right thing, forcing the fight to end after the second knockdown. Big props to Beterbiev and huge respect to Callum Smith.”

Former IBF flyweight champion Sunny Edwards had sympathy with Smith, following Smith's comments that the defeat to Beterbiev that he was struggling to accept that he [Smith] was not the best.

"Class in defeat. Know the feeling all to well, well done Callum Smith. Made some dent in boxing & only lost against the very best."

Eddie Hearn commented on Instagram that he is proud of Callum Smith's efforts, adding that Beterbiev is a freak of nature.

"Congrats Artur Beterbiev, a freak of nature. [I’m] proud of Callum Smith."

Two-time world light-heavyweight title challenger and former opponent of Beterbiev, Anthony Yarde, threw his name into the hat to face Beterbiev once again. 

"#BeterbievSmith over in Round 7. Who wants to see #BeterbievYarde 2?”

Former BWAA trainer of the year, Shane McGuigan, admired Smith’s ambitions in trying to win the contest and not just go through the motions. However, he added that Beterbiev dominated the fight. In McGuigan’s opinion, Beterbiev is now the number one 175-pound fighter in the world.

"Fair play to Callum. He tried to win that fight, unlike when he boxed Canelo [weight factor]. Callum put up a great fight, even tho it was one-sided! Beterbiev was so efficient on the jab and naturally heavy-handed. No tell on his shots. He has to be No. 1 over Bivol."

Former unified world lightweight champion George Kambosos Jr meanwhile sums up what the light-heavyweight division and the sport needs and that is for the undefeated duo of Beterbiev-Bivol to finally lock horns and fight it out to decide who the No.1 fighter in the division is.

"Beterbiev!!!! Bivol next what a fight #boxing."