Thursday, February 22, 2024

Boxing Preview: Artur Beterbiev (19-0-0 19 KOs) vs Callum Smith (29-1-0 21 KOs)

The bout between Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith is scheduled for Saturday, January 13, 2024. The main card is set to start at 10 PM Eastern Time and 7 PM Pacific Time, which corresponds to 3 AM in the United Kingdom.

The event will be hosted at the Videotron Center in Quebec. It will be broadcast live, with coverage beginning at 1 AM on Sunday on Sky Sports Arena in UK

Artur Beterbiev, holder of three world titles and a proud resident of Montreal, is readying for his return home for a battle to keep his WBC/WBO/IBF light heavyweight champion belts. He is set to face Callum “Mundo” Smith, the WBC No. 1 contender, in what promises to be a great fight.

Beterbiev’s (19-0, 19 KOs) unique standing as the only world champion with a 100% knockout ratio sets him apart. His return to Québec City, where he last fought in 2015, could signal the dawn of a new era in the region’s boxing landscape.

Smith’s (29-1, 21 KOs) impressive resume, featuring victories over George Groves, Hassan N’Dam, and John Ryder, has him primed to become a two-weight world champion. His career’s next chapter is significant, and the upcoming battle against Beterbiev adds to its gravity. Adding to the spectacle is a heavyweight co-feature: Guido “The Gladiator” Vianello, the 2016 Italian Olympian, faces Simon “The Grizzly” Kean, the 2012 Canadian Olympian, in a 10-round heavyweight match. Both fighters, Vianello (10-1-1, 9 KOs) and Kean (23-1, 22 KOs), seek redemption, their hunger apparent in every step leading up to this contest. The journey to this event wasn’t without its hurdles. Emergency dental surgery for Beterbiev forced a postponement. But the waiting has only intensified the anticipation, as expressed by Eye of the Tiger’s president, Camille Estephan, and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum.

Undercard

The Bantamweight Champion from Australia, Jason “Mayhem” Moloney, is set to defend his WBO world title against the challenger with grit, Mexican-American Saul Sanchez, in a showdown on January 13 at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada.

This title defense by Moloney is one of the highlights, streaming LIVE in the U.S. exclusively on ESPN+ preceding a dynamic ESPN-televised doubleheader starting at 10 p.m. ET. Fans are in for an electrifying night as this event leads up to Artur Beterbiev’s defense of his WBC/IBF/WBO light heavyweight titles against Callum “Mundo” Smith and the unstoppable super middleweight, Christian Mbilli, facing off with Rohan Murdock.

Moloney (26-2, 19 KOs), the Melbourne marvel, didn’t have it easy on his path to world title glory. Back in October 2018, a split decision saw him edged out by Emmanuel Rodriguez for the IBF bantamweight crown. Fast forward to two years later, and he’s clashing with Naoya Inoue, only to succumb in the seventh round in a gallant bid for the WBA, IBF, and Ring Magazine championships. Undeterred, this former amateur star came roaring back, stringing together wins over formidable opponents like Joshua Greer Jr. and Aston Palicte. It all led to his triumph in May over the fearsome puncher Vincent Astrolabio, snagging the WBO title by majority decision.

Moloney is oozing confidence, “Saul has bagged a big win in Japan, and sure, he’ll come in hungry for my title. But make no mistake, we’re in the ‘Mayhem’ era. I’ve realized my dream to be world champ, but now in 2024, it’s about showing I’m the kingpin of the bantamweights. I’m looking at a year full of action, aiming to dismantle the other champs. My eye is on the undisputed prize, but first, I’m set for a stunning knockout victory over Saul Sanchez. Canada, brace yourselves for the mayhem I’m bringing!”

Enter Los Angeles native Sanchez (20-2, 12 KOs), stepping into his premier world title fight on the back of a strong surge. A close split decision loss to Eros Correa was just a blip on the radar as Sanchez bounced back, overpowering Franklin Gonzalez, dropping him four times before sealing the deal with a sixth-round stoppage. Riding that high, Sanchez then took his talents to Japan, notching an eight-round unanimous decision over RV Deniega.

Sanchez is not short on enthusiasm, “This shot at the title has me fired up. I’m coming into this in the best form of my life, ready to seize victory and clinch the world champion title. A huge shoutout to my manager, Nomaan Ali at GOAT Management, for lining up this golden opportunity. I’ve stacked up back-to-back wins and come January 13, I’ll be primed and ready to go.”

Make sure you tune in for a battle that promises to deliver as the Aussie champion aims to cement his legacy against a challenger with his sights set on creating his own.

Christian Mbilli, the super middleweight sensation, will put his WBC Continental Americas and WBA International super middleweight titles on the line, taking on the Australian dynamo, Rohan Murdock, on Saturday, January 13, at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. This exciting fight will set the stage for Artur Beterbiev’s defense of his WBO/WBC/IBF light heavyweight world title, squaring off against the former world champ, Callum Smith.

Global excitement is heating up! Footage from Mbilli’s latest fights with stars like Nadjib Mohammedi, Carlos Gongora, and Demond Nicholson is causing quite a noise internationally. Thanks to these outstanding bouts, he’s now seated comfortably as the #1 contender in the WBC, #2 in the WBA, and #3 in the IBF rankings. Yet, with all this momentum in the super middleweight division, Mbilli (with a pristine 25-0, boasting 21 KOs) finds himself facing traffic brought about by the undisputed world champ, Canelo Alvarez.

In Mbilli’s words, “Taking on Rohan Murdock offers a fresh challenge, given his distinct fighting style. This fight is not just about another win; it’s a chance to woo even more fans before I ascend to the world champion throne. The thrill of training camp beckons, and come January 13, Quebec is in for a treat!”

Murdock (27-2, having 19 KOs under his belt) is riding high, celebrating three consecutive wins post his TKO loss to Zach Parker. He recently secured a close victory against Isaac Hardman, earning him the IBF Australasian super middleweight belt.

Murdock’s excitement is evident: “This is more than just another fight; it’s a golden opportunity. I’ve faced hostile crowds before and have come out wiser. The stakes are high, but on January 13, I’m confident of raising my hands in triumph.”

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