Eddie Hearn warns Artur Beterbiev that 'he will be knocked out cold' if Callum Smith lands 'clean'

Callum Smith challenge’s Artur Beterbiev for the IBF, WBC and WBO light heavyweight world titles this weekend in the champion’s adopted country of Canada.

Liverpool’s Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) comes to the Centre Videotron in Quebec City in hope of becoming a two a weight world champion against the feared knockout artist. 

“I still think it is a 50/50 fight,” Smith’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, said to ProBox TV at today’s official press conference. “I see it, you know. I just… I remember watching Beterbiev against Callum Johnson, I’ve watched him his whole career, even before that. I watched him against Anthony Yarde and I just see the opportunity is there to beat him. That doesn’t mean you will beat him, but Callum has a great opportunity to beat him on Saturday. 

“You still got to go and do it. Just because he turns up doesn't mean he is going to win, but I know he can win. Sometimes you make a fight and you think, I just can’t see how or a way [to win]. I see many ways to win this fight, and I can visualise it as well. Like I said, you got the inactivity, you got the age, you’ve got the injury, you’ve got the drug test controversy that we have seen as well this week. All this stuff just plays in the mind and just makes things…you know, challenging. I believe Callum wins the fight, it is going to be a good fight, a very dangerous fight. If Beterbiev makes mistakes in this fight, and he gets hit clean from Callum Smith, he will be knocked out cold.”

Matchroom’s Dmitry Bivol is in line to face Beterbiev in Saudi Arabia in a unification bout if all goes to plan against Smith tomorrow night. If Smith wins he could potentially take Beterbiev’s place.

“Not necessarily, the deal that has been agreed is to fight Beterbiev in Saudi,” Hearn explained. “If Callum Smith wins, I’ll be straight on the phone saying let's do Callum Smith instead [of Beterbiev]. Saudi’s plan is obviously to keep those big names fighting there.”

Smith’s inactivity could be of big concern going into the most dangerous fight of his career. The former super middleweight king has not seen the ring since August of 2022, where he defeated Mathieu Bauderlique with a fourth round knockout. 

“It is not ideal,” Hearn added on his fighter's inactivity, “it was supposed to happen last August, which would have been perfect. He would have still been out of the ring for ten months at that time, and the inactivity hasn’t been ideal. But, Beterbiev has also been a little bit inactive and he’s coming off a jaw injury and the other stuff I said as well. Yeah, I would have liked him to be more active but I don’t think it is going to make a huge difference.”