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Beterbiev vs Smith: Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr looking forward to light heavyweight unification

Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr met on stage today for their final press conference.

Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr are prepared to do battle this weekend.

We’ve got a heavy-hitting matchup set for this weekend when light heavyweights Artur Beterbiev collides with Joe Smith Jr, and for the last leg of the promotional push for the event, Top Rank held the final press conference today, which featured both fighters on stage to discuss their fight.

Here’s what they had to say.

Bad Left Hook will have live coverage for Beterbiev vs Smith starting at 10 pm ET on Saturday, June 18.

Joe Smith Jr

“This is a huge opportunity. Artur Beterbiev is a huge name in boxing. Everyone knows who he is at this point. He has two world titles and I want those belts. I believe this fight is gonna be great, you’ve got two big punchers and I’m just excited to be in there with him and, like I said, he’s a great name.

“I’m fighting at the Garden [Hulu Theater], close to home, not too far from here. And all my fans are gonna be here to support me, or if not, watching at home. I’m just glad to be here here defending my WBO and unifying two other belts.

“I believe (Beterbiev) is in his prime right now, I don’t think age has anything to do with it. I know he’s here 100% ready to go.

“I know I’m in here fighting one of the best so I’ve trained 110% like I usually normally do. But I made this camp a little longer, I made sure things I wasn’t doing my best I improved on them and I stayed more consistent with my training so I feel comfortable this weekend.

“This is the smoothest camp that I ever had. So hopefully the fight goes the same way.”


Listen to our Beterbiev vs Smith preview and more on this week’s podcast!


Artur Beterbiev

“It’s just important. I can say like one word, it’s important. Very important like I do everyday training for that — to one day be good boxer.

“It’s very important fight for me but (the venue) I think it’s not different for me. I’m more focused for fight, for opponent, not for (venue).

“I’m 37?! Why you remind me [laughs]. I always ask my coach — conditioning coach, boxing coach — ‘How do you think I do? Less work than two years ago?’ And they tell me ‘No, you do better than two years ago.’ Maybe they lie to me, I don’t know.

“This camp was a very good camp, I think so, if we compare to the last one. This camp is better. I want to thank my team, condition coach, boxing coach, all my team and all my sparring partners who help me — we had a good camp.

“We’re both ready for this fight, I think it’s gonna be good fight. We will see. I can’t do prediction for future, I’m just boxer.”

Both fighters are scheduled for their official weigh-in tomorrow, and considering all goes well on the scale we’ll have a can’t miss light heavyweight unification fight on Saturday night in New York.