Artur Beterbiev brutally wipes out Callum Smith in Quebec City

Artur Beterbiev demolished Callum Smith with a seventh round stoppage to retain his IBF, WBC and WBO light heavyweight world titles Saturday at the Center Videotron In Quebec City.

Beterbiev started the contest quickly attempting to pin Smith to the ropes and get to work early on the much taller Englishman. Smith composed himself to slow down the attack as he started to keep Beterbiev at range with his far reaching jab, with one jab landing clean with just under a minute left in the round. Beterbiev worked the body attempting to rough up Smith on the ropes to close out the round. 

The second round took a similar path, as Beterbiev opened up aggressively with Smith slowing the pace with his size advantage. Smith went on the front for the majority of the three minutes taking the round mainly on his jab; he had yet to let go of any power shots. 

In round three we did not see an overly assertive start from Beterbiev, as Smith started the stronger. However, the champion started to land after the first minute. A pair of right hands a few seconds apart had Smith rethinking his strategy, he walked onto a stiff jab moments later. 

Betebiev started the fourth on the front foot looking to make dents early on Smith in this round. He had the Englishman pinned against the ropes where he unleashed a gluttony of connecting shots — Smith was clearly feeling the power at this early stage. Beterbiev closed the round with Smith taking more punishment pressed to the ropes. 

The puncher caught Smith with a composed jab to begin round five. Smith came back with spirit, trying to let his hands go. However, the power and strength of Beterbiev was proving a problem. The action slowed as Beterbiev started to pick his shots. The champion was in control and looking levels above Smith. 

Beterbiev began the sixth on the offensive, Smith was trying to create opportunities but found himself constantly on the end of the champion’s jab. Smith’s spirited attempts to turn this into a fight fell flat. Beterbiev was giving Smith the pounding of his career. 

Smith was off his stool long after Beterbiev to open the seventh. The champion landed a power shot with the right hand to the body after two good jabs. Beterbiev took charge cutting off Smith to the ropes, he went to work on his rangy opponent, flooring him after another sustained attack with lefts and rights.

Smith made it to his feet, but only just. Beterbiev smelled blood, finishing off Smith with 2.07 on the clock. Smith crumbled under an all too similar attack which saw him eat left and right hand shots to the head. Smith remarkably made it to his feet, but was in no stage to continue, and so his trainer Buddy McGirt called the fight off. 

Beterbiev’s unblemished record continues to rise — the Russian powerhouse improves his record to 20-0 (20 KOs).

Smith tasted defeat for the second time in his career, his first loss by knockout. The former super middleweight champion’s record moves to 29-2 (21 KOs). 

The win looks to set up an undisputed clash with fellow Russian Dmitry Bivol in Saudi Arabia later this year.