The big light heavyweight unification bout between undefeated WBC and IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev and WBO champion Joe Smith Jr will take place on Saturday night at the HULU Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Artur Beterbiev (17-0,17 KOs) is currently the WBC and IBF world champion at 175 pounds and is the only champion in boxing with a perfect 100 percent knockout record. In all 17 of his professional fights he has made sure that none of his opponents sees the distance.
What makes Beterbiev special and dangerous is his ability to apply pressure to break his opponents down. He doesn’t rush into hard punches and goes to the body and head of his opponents make them confused on which attack to block and avoid.
Tonight he will be in against a very tough and durable champion who is coming to pull off an upset.
WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. (28-3, 22 KOs) worked construction for the majority of his boxing career and the manual laborer is proud to be called blue collar. His work ethic and discipline is what he prides himself in and now he is going to focus on boxing full time and believes his moment to shine has come.
Smith Jr. wants to be the man at 175 pounds and if he captures the belts tonight against Beterbiev he hopes to land a rematch with Dmitry Bivol for the final WBA title and chance to become undisputed.
Top Rank on ESPN Fight Card
Light Heavyweight Championship – Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr (WBC/IBF/WBO titles)
Featherweight – Robeisy Ramirez vs. Abraham Nova
Featherweight – Bruce Carrington vs. Adrian Leyva
Welterweight – Jahi Tucker vs. D’Andre Smith
Super Bantamweight – Floyd Diaz vs. Daniil Platonovschi
Middleweight – Troy Isley vs. Donte Stubbs
Junior Middleweight – Kieran Molloy vs. Jonathan Ryan Burrs
Women’s Super Welterweight – Wendy Toussaint vs. Asinia Byfield
Junior Middleweight – Jahyae Brown vs. Keane McMahon
Venue: Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City
Promoter: Top Rank, Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing
Date and Time: Saturday, June 18, 2022 at 10:00 PM ET / 7:00 PM PT
TV/Live Stream: ESPN and ESPN+