- Artur Beterbiev has opened as the heavy betting favorite against Joe Smith Jr.
- Beterbiev hit the betting boards at -1000 odds while Smith was listed at +600 when the lines first opened.
- Beterbiev and Smith will unify three of the major belts in boxing’s light heavyweight division on June 18th.
Artur Beterviev is a huge betting favorite in his upcoming light heavyweight title unification against Joe Smith Jr.
According to the best boxing betting sites, Beterbiev is the -1000 to wrest Smith’s WBO light heavyweight belt while Smith is the +600 betting underdog to annex Beterbiev’s WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles:
Artur Beterbiev (-1100)
Joe Smith Jr (+600)https://t.co/I4Rbf3yStl
— ProBoxingOdds (@ProBoxingOdds) May 23, 2022
Beterbiev and Smith are scheduled to fight on June 18th at the Hulu Theater in New York City in what promises to be an action-packed showdown between two of the division’s heavy hitters.
Only Current Word Champion With 100% KO Rate
Artur Beterbiev stops Marcus Browne to earn his 17th knockout in 17 pro fights.
He remains the only world champion with a 100% KO rate 🤯 pic.twitter.com/6mGHtrBAxg
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) December 18, 2021
Artur Beterbiev heads to this title unification coming off a 9th round knockout win over Marcus Browne last December in his fifth successful title defense. The win was also the 17th consecutive knockout win for Beterbiev in his 17th professional bout, making him the only current world champion in boxing to have a 100% knockout rate.
The 37-year-old from Dagestan is a former amateur standout representing Russia. Beterbiev won the light heavyweight gold medal in the 2006 and 2010 European Championships and the 2009 World Championships. He turned pro in 2013 and became the IBF light heavyweight champion in 2017 and has held that title ever since. Beterbiev’s career-best win came in October 2019 when he stopped Oleksandr Gvozdyk to pick up a second world title. However, he has fought just twice since that bout.
Beterbiev hit the betting boards with the same odds that he opened against Browne. In that bout, he closed at -1250 odds, his shortest since being listed at -10000 against Enrico Kolling in 2017. The only time that Beterbiev opened at plus money odds was when he was listed at +101 against Gvozdyk. However, he still closed as the slight -120 betting favorite in that bout.
Smith Called Out Beterbiev After Knocking Out Geffrard
Joe Smith Jr wants Artur Beterviev, Canelo Alvarez after knocking out Steve Geffrard: WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr 28-3 (22) knocked out Steve Geffrard 18-3 (12) in nine rounds at the Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, New York on… https://t.co/K5x4SxTYZC pic.twitter.com/EYr3vTiINC
— Ringnews24 🥊 (@ringnews24) January 16, 2022
Joe Smith Jr. called out Beterbiev and Canelo Alvarez after disposing of Steve Geffrard during his first defense of the WBO light heavyweight title last January. The 32-year-old from Long Island, New York was supposed to fight Callum Johnson in his last bout but settled for Geffrard after Johnson tested positive for COVID-19 and had to pull out of their fight.
A former construction worker, Smith is one of the sport’s most improved fighters. He was a massive +1050 betting underdog when he upset Andrzej Fonfara and was a +220 bottom dog when he became the first fighter to stop Bernard Hopkins in 2016. After those huge wins, however, he dropped decisions against Dmitry Bivol and Sullivan Barrera but has rebounded with impressive victories versus Jesse Hart, Eleider Alvarez, and Maxim Vlasov.
Smith is all too familiar with fighting with the plus money sign next to his name. Aside from his signature upset wins over Fonfara and Hopkins, Smith was also the +305 underdog when he fought Hart and the +180 bottom dog against Alvarez. He narrowly outpointed Hart in a split decision and knocked out Alvarez in nine rounds.