Artur Beterbiev keeps knockout streak alive against Callum Smith

Artur Beterbiev doesn’t fight like a guy who is going to turn 39 on Jan. 21.

The 175-pound titleholder dominated another good opponent Saturday in Quebec City, Canada, this time dropping Callum Smith twice and stopping him the seventh round.

Beterbiev has now stopped all 20 of his professional opponents.

The winner outjabbed, outboxed and outworked Smith (29-2, 21 KOs) from the first round, patiently, methodically stalking him and gradually breaking him down.

Smith, a former 168-pound champion, had some good moments — Beterbiev is hittable — but he had neither the ability nor the punching power to slow down the winner.

The end came suddenly. Beterbiev landed a right hand to the temple of Smith about a minute into Round 7, buckling the knees of the Englishman. He followed with a vicious barrage that ultimately put Smith down for the first time in his career.

Smith was able to get up but took another series of hard shots that put him on the canvas a second time about 30 seconds later. At the point, his trainer, Buddy McGirt, jumped into the ring to save his fighter from taking more punishment.

The official time of the stoppage was 2:00 of Round 7.

The CompuBox statistics reflected Beterbiev’s dominance. He landed 182 of 471 punches overall (38.6%) to 59 of 366 (16.1%) for Smith. Also, he had an 87-31 edge in power punches.

Beterbiev was modest afterward.

“It’s because of luck,” he said. “It’s my coach (Marc Ramsay). My team works hard with me, too. Maybe that’s why, too. But I think it’s because of luck.”

He went on: “We had a couple strategies. We always have more than one. We need to be prepared for several strategies. He gave me a good fight. He stayed strong. Thanks to him. Today, luck is on my side.”

The victory could set up a title-unification showdown with Dmitry Bivol, as both men reportedly agreed to the fight.

Bivol has already enjoyed success at the pinnacle of the sport, outpointing superstar Canelo Alvarez in May 2022. Bivol would be the most accomplished opponent in Beterbiev’s career.

The winner would become undisputed champion and the most respected 175-pounder of the era.

“Yes, of course [I want the Bivol fight],” Beterbiev said. “I need another belt. It would mean a lot to me.”

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie