Bob Arum: Artur Beterbiev is one of the light-heavyweight greats

Bob Arum’s Top Rank plants its flag in Quebec City tonight when Artur Beterbiev defends his IBF, WBC and WBO light heavyweight world titles against Callum Smith.

Beterbiev’s unblemished record of 19-0 (19 KOs) means Arum includes the Russian powerhouse’s name in any conversation regarding the greatest light-heavyweight of all time. 

“We went through a list of over 50 light-heavyweight championships that we promoted,” Arum said in an exclusive interview. “Beterbiev is something really special in the light-heavyweight ranks. There has never been a light-heavyweight champion who has the conclusive power that he does.” 

Beterbiev’s 20th expected conquest comes against former super-middleweight kingpin Smith (29-1, 21 KOs). The Liverpudlian’s lone career defeat came against Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in December 2020. He has only had two fights since, with knockout victories over much lesser opposition since his move up to 175 pounds. 

“Callum Smith is a tremendous young man and a tremendous fighter,” Arum added. “He is going to give him a real battle, anything can happen, but that is what makes Beterbiev so exciting is because he stands up to all of these killers, all these guys who are really good fighters. And he is not only able to win, but he was able to knock him out. Hopefully Saturday night will be no different, but Callum Smith is in there with a big chance.”