The light heavyweight championship will be unified this Saturday night when Artur Beterbiev clashes with Joe Smith Jr. inside the Hulu Theater MSG in New York.
Read on for our complete betting guide taking a first look at the WBC IBF WBO light heavyweight unification championship bout between Beterbiev and Smith Jr., including updated boxing odds, free expert boxing betting picks, and predictions.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr.
Saturday, June 18, 2022 – 09:00 PM EDT at Hulu Theater
Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs)
Former Olympic boxer and current IBF/WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev returns to the squared circle this weekend, and he'll be looking to further extend his 100% undefeated record that has consisted of 17 consecutive knockout victories.
The 37-year-old Russian has been relentless during his pursuit of light heavyweight dominance, stopping every opponent in his path via a technical or knockout stoppage.
Whilst he is glaringly known for his punching power, many critics have stated that he's starting to slow down in the latter stage of his career, but a round 9 KO and a round 10 TKO from his previous two bouts would suggest otherwise.
Boxing Pick: Daniel Dubois (-720) with Bovada
Joe Smith Jr. (28-3, 22 KOs)
Standing in the way of Beterbiev becoming the unified light heavyweight champion is the owner of the WBO title, Joe Smith Jr.
Smith Jr. put his name on the map when becoming the first-ever boxer to defeat the undisputed middleweight world champion at the time, Bernard Hopkins, with a technical knockout.
"The Irish Bomber" has notable hand power of his own and has only been knocked out on one occasion during his professional career, which was over 10 years ago.
Can the 32-year-old Long Island, New York, representative pose a threat to the seemingly unstoppable Beterbiev?
Boxing Pick: Joe Smith Jr. (+550) with Bovada
Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr. Analysis and Breakdown
How Can Beterbiev Defeat Smith Jr.?
Beterbiev has incarnated every single bit of the word power during his professional boxing career, placing him in a category amongst some of the heaviest hitters in light heavyweight history – Archie Moore, Bob Fitzsimmons, and Bob Foster.
These aforementioned power punchers all possessed the natural ability to turn the lights out, and this is precisely what Beterbiev brings to the table.
Technical ability aside, Beterbiev has granted himself the ability to longevity in his career because the quicker you can eliminate your opponent, the less brain damage is sustained during the course of one's career.
Behind an amateur career of over 100 bouts, Beterbiev has perfected the technical balance, rotation, and coordination that's required to deliver a knockout punch.
It'll only take one mid-to-close-range shot to land, and the Russian standout will have yet another KO/TKO on his record to strike fear into the division.
How Can Smith Jr. Defeat Beterbiev?
Smith Jr. has one job and one job only; avoid those swinging hammers. He'll need to bob and weave for his life, control the center, stay away from the ropes, and avoid trading blows with Beterbiev.
Should Smith Jr. probe his jab and utilize his slight reach advantage to remain on the outside, outscoring Beterbiev is possible, but he'll need to keep his eyes wide open for twelve straight rounds.
Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr. Betting Pick
The available betting odds at Bookmakers' Review heavily favor Beterbiev. Despite his age, I won't be fading the knockout king of modern-day boxing until somebody can prove his stoppage success is behind him.
There's no need to complicate this betting process; nobody has survived twelve rounds with Beterbiev in nine years of professional competition as he's the only active champion on the planet with a 100% finishing rate.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.