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Artur Beterbiev needs undisputed title after straightforward win over Joe Smith Jr.


Artur Beterbiev Joe Smith Jr.

Artur Beterbiev celebrates after defeating Joe Smith Jr in the course of the gentle heavyweight title bout at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on June 18, 2022 in New York City. The struggle was stopped within the second spherical. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

Light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev knocked out American rival Joe Smith Jr. inside two rounds on Saturday so as to add the WBO title to his WBC and IBF belts.

The unbeaten 37-year-old Canada-based Russian scored three knockdowns and had Smith in serious trouble with slightly below a minute remaining in spherical two earlier than the struggle was stopped.

Beterbiev improves to 18-0 – all by knockout – and may now set his sights on a attainable unification struggle in opposition to Russia’s WBA champion Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed gentle heavyweight crown.

“Joe is a little bit open, and it was more easy for me to get him,” Beterbiev stated afterward, earlier than turning his consideration to the prospect of a struggle with Bivol.

“I’ve had two unification fights and unification fights are more interesting,” Beterbiev stated.

“I prefer to unify. I want to be undisputed.”

Smith, who was reportedly taken to hospital instantly after the bout and didn’t converse to media, in the meantime fell to 28-4 after the fourth defeat of his profession.

The 32-year-old American underdog, who additionally has 22 knockouts on his report, began aggressively however was shortly overwhelmed by his hard-hitting and skillful opponent.

Beterbiev had Smith wobbling within the first spherical, connecting with a sequence of overhand rights.

He had the American on the canvas early in what was dominated a slip moderately than a knockdown.

But he didn’t have lengthy to attend for the primary professional knockdown of the competition, as soon as once more a clubbing overhand proper forcing Smith to take a standing depend on the finish of the primary.

After beginning the second spherical in comparable style, it was solely a query of how lengthy Smith would be capable to cling on.

Beterbiev scored two extra knockdowns early within the spherical, virtually sending Smith by means of the ropes with a flurry of vicious pictures.

He then uncorked a lethal mixture of left uppercuts and a proper to scramble Smith’s senses additional, leaving referee Harvey Dock no choice however to name it off.

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