By Steve Kim Updated on June 20, 2022

Beterbiev Batters Smith

Picture for Beterbiev Batters Smith

It was simply devastating. There's no other way to describe what Artur Beterbiev did in halting Joe Smith in two rounds on Saturday night at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden to add the WBO belt to his collection, that already included the WBC and IBF straps.

Smith made the bold choice to go right into the belly of the beast against the powerful Beterbiev, and while he put him on his heels in the opening minute of the fight, by the end of the first round, Smith started to feel the power of Beterbiev and was first shaken, and the sent down late by a clubbing right hand.

The bold strategy didn't take Beterbiev by surprise, he said simply afterward, ''because it's boxing." He explained that this was Smith's core style. This is what he is, and what he does. 


Picture for Beterbiev Batters SmithMikey Williams for Top Rank

Things didn't get any better in the second round as Beterbiev scored two more knockdowns of Smith, who in the past several years has become one of the feel-good stories in boxing. But on this night he was dealt a harsh dose of reality. He was simply out-classed by one of the strongest fighters in the sport.

Whatever Beterbiev hits, he hurts.

If he hits you enough times, you will eventually succumb to this two-fisted attack. He doesn't out-box you, but batters you from pillar-to-post. And if you chose to fight him, well, that's exactly what he enjoys. 

"Yes," he said with a sly grin, ''but don't tell anyone."

While it's Dmitry Bivol, who is currently the WBA 175-pound titlist, that is coming off his career-defining victory over Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez in May, it's Beterbiev who has collected the most big name scalps in the division.

Right now, it's Beterbiev who has to be considered the best light heavyweight in the world. He not only has the most complete resume', there is also the eye test which he passes with flying colors. Some will say that the deluxe boxing skills of Bivol would trouble Beterbiev. But as of this moment, that is pure speculation. Hopefully that match-up will come to fruition sooner rather than later, so we can find out. 


Picture for Beterbiev Batters SmithMikey Williams for Top Rank

For the time being, it looks like Beterbiev will face Anthony Yarde in the UK in the fall, while Bivol will probably have his choice of either Gilberto Ramirez or Joshua Buatsi.

But yeah, while he's not quite undisputed yet, Beterbiev is the man to beat at light heavyweight. Who knows if the politics of boxing will ever allow Beterbiev-Bivol to take place. But there's no doubt that the man with three belts wants to add one more to his trophy case.

“Unification fights are more interesting, more motivating,” Beterbiev said. “I prefer unification fight. I want to be undisputed.”



Robeisy Ramirez came into the professional game with plenty of hype, as he was a two-time Olympic gold medalist (beating the superb Shakur Stevenson in the 2016 finals). Top Rank signed him to a much ballyhooed professional contract. 

Big things were expected from him, but his pro career began not with a bang, but a thud, as he was upset in his pro debut by the plucky Adan Gonzalez in the summer of 2019 in Philadelphia.


Picture for Beterbiev Batters SmithMikey Williams for Top Rank

Was Ramirez just another Cuban amateur standout that just didn't have the right stuff for the pro game, or could he be turned into another Joel Casamayor? In the wake of his stunning loss, the decision was made to have him work with the respected Ismael Salas, who has guided him to 10 consecutive victories -- including gaining revenge over Gonzalez -- and this Saturday night he impressively halted Abraham Nova.

It was a straight left hand that had Nova knocked cold in the fifth round, which punctuated an impressive all-around effort from the southpaw. More and more, he is starting to look like the guy Top Rank signed a few years ago.

“It was all about the strategy," explained Ramirez. "I’m blessed to work with Ismael Salas, who is a genius in my corner. It really was about setting up that shot. If you watch the fight, it was about working, tapping the body until that opening was created. I knew he was dangerous, so I had to be careful, but when I saw my opening, I took it and I finished the fight.”

There is already some chatter of Ramirez facing WBO featherweight champion, Emanuel Navarette, down the line. 



Blue-chip featherweight prospect, Bruce Carrington, improved to 4-0(3 KOs) by scoring a 5th round TKO of Adrian Leyva. 

Picture for Beterbiev Batters SmithMikey Williams for Top Rank

I know it's early, but Carrington looks like the goods. He's sharp as a razor, is quick as a cat, and fundamentally sound. He can lead off a fast jab, or counter-punch with equal effectiveness.  And with all that, he's defensively very sound. One thing that was very noticeable in watching him ringside is just how focused he is when he boxes, there's a certain command that he has inside the ring.

Yeah, he's got a long ways to go, but I get the feeling it may not take him too long to get there.



Troy Isley put forth a solid effort in stopping Donte Stubbs in six rounds...Jahi Tucker has some tools to work with...For authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, I'd highly recommend Casa Adela. All I can say about their food is, wepa!!....Also Patsy's Italian Restaurant gets a thumbs up....I can be reached at
About Author
Beterbiev Batters Smith
  • Hosted 'the Main Event' on KIEV 870, and then later XTRA AM1150 ( a three hour show devoted to boxing) from 1996 to 1999.
  • Joined one of the first boxing websites, 'House of Boxing' in 1999, and then later became one of the founders of Maxboxing, that started in 2001, till his departure in 2014.
  • From 2014 to 2018, he was the lead columnist for
  • Was a boxing reporter for from 2018 to 2020.
  • He has written for Ring Magazine, International Boxing Digest and Boxing News.
  • Is the co-host of 'the 3 Knockdown Rule' with Mario Lopez, which has become of the most popular boxing podcasts the past several years.
  • Steve has also served as an announcer and analyst for RingTV, Thompson Boxing, 360 Promotions and CBS Sports Network.