Three belts and with them light heavyweight supremacy at stake when WBC/IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev from Canada, fights WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. from USA, on Saturday, June 18th at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Beterbiev, boxing’s only world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio, aims to pick up another strap against “Cinderella Man” Smith of Long Island who grew up a few score miles from Madison Square Garden.
Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing and can be purchased by visiting Ticketmaster.com or MSG.com.
Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs), has spent his nine-year pro career based in Montreal, Canada. He has been a world champion since knocking out Enrico Koelling for the IBF strap in November 2017.
He’s won five title fights inside the distance since then, including an off-the-deck victory over Callum Johnson and a title unification classic versus Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2019. Beterbiev went 2-0 in 2021, capping the year with December’s crushing ninth-round over longtime contender Marcus Browne.
Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) earned mainstream recognition with his 2016 knockout of living legend Bernard Hopkins and scored standout wins over Jesse Hart and Eleider Alvarez in 2020. In his second world title attempt, he outlasted Maxim Vlasov in a 2021 Fight of the Year Contender. Smith successfully defend his world title in January with a ninth-round stoppage over late replacement Steve Geffrard.