Smith 'can spoil' the prospective Beterbiev-Bivol party, Moloney says

History, sometimes, has a funny way of repeating itself.

The world clamored for a heavyweight battle between American puncher Deontay Wilder and British poster boy Anthony Joshua, and it looked like the fight was close to fruition when both boxers competed in separate bouts, last month.

But then, after years of to'ing and fro'ing, Wilder lost decisively to Joseph Parker while Joshua looked back to his best against Otto Wallin. Now, they look as far apart as they've ever been.

Artur Beterbiev, who fights Callum Smith on Saturday atop a Top Rank card in Quebec, has long been linked to Dmitry Bivol and the pair crossed paths in Saudi Arabia — the same region Wilder and Joshua could have, perhaps, met in the ring thesmselves.

But the best light heavyweight match that boxing can produce is yet to materialize and Beterbiev has far from a gimme bout at the Centre Videotron arena this weekend on ESPN+.

"It's a 50-50 fight," Jason Moloney, who fights Saul Sanchez on the same show, told ProBox TV this week. "But I actually give Callum Smith a good chance in this fight.

"I really rate Callum Smith," Moloney said. "I was at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and saw him there, and have probably followed him since the amateurs through to his pro career."

Though Smith won the World Boxing Super Series at super middleweight, having beaten Erik Skoglund in the quarterfinal, Nieky Holzen in the semis, and George Groves in the final, before going on to beat Hassan N'Dam  N'Jikam and John Ryder, it is Smith's work at 175-pounds that has really caught Moloney's eye.

Since losing to Saul 'Canelo' Alvarz in 2020 — his final bout at 168-pounds — Smith moved to light heavyweight and has scored back-to-back knockout wins over Lenin Castillo and Mathieu Bauderlique.

"I think, since he moved to light heavyweight, he's looked sensational," said Moloney of Smith.

"I should back the Top Rank boy [Beterbiev] but I give Smith a good chance."

We asked Moloney if history might repeat itself Saturday, with Smith doing to Beterbiev what Parker managed against Wilder, scuppering a much talked about bout in the process.

"That's why it's a crazy sport," said Moloney. "You can never look too far ahead or overlook anyone.

"It's a real 50:50 fight. I still think the Beterbiev and Bivol fight is amazing, but Callum Smith can spoil that party, for sure."

The Beterbiev vs. Smith bout, and Moloney against Sanchez fight, can both be seen on ESPN+.