By Steve Kim Updated on January 15, 2024

Demolition Man

Picture for Demolition Man

We've seen a lot of things in boxing over the years. One thing that nobody has witnessed is this: anyone able to withstand the brutal onslaught of unified light heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev. 20 men have tried, and 20 men have been unable to see the finish line against this juggernaut.

The latest was Callum Smith, who succumbed to Beterbiev in seven rounds on Saturday night at the Videotron Centre in Quebec City.

Smith was a solid professional, one with some noted credentials. He had won a major world title at super middleweight, and the World Boxing Super Series tournament, and his only loss coming into this contest was a 12 round decision to Saul Alvarez in what was a listless effort. But since moving up to 175, he had scored some eye-opening knockouts, and was ranked third in the division by Ring Magazine.

Picture for Demolition ManMikey Williams/Top Rank

There were some pundits (admittedly, mostly based in the UK) that believed Smith had a punchers chance. That there were signs of slippage in Beterbiev's last outing 12 months ago versus the athletic-but-raw, Anthony Yarde. The (wishful) thinking was that the more well-schooled Smith, and his long-limbed power would present some issues for Beterbiev.

None of that happened. 

From the very opening seconds of the bout, Beterbiev was able to dictate the distance and the tempo of the bout as he pinned Smith up along the ropes and began the process of chipping away at the tall and angular frame of Smith. Beterbiev has been dubbed 'the Human Wrecking Ball' by some (well... me, actually) because whatever he hits, he hurts and eventually breaks down. 

Picture for Demolition ManMikey Williams/Top Rank

Smith fought courageously as he could, and at times landed some leather. But they basically bounced off Beterbiev with no real effect. Meanwhile, Smith's face was visibly bruised up from the early rounds. Then he was buzzed in the fourth, and while he had some moments here and there, Beterbiev was methodically taking him apart. Finally, in round seven he finished him off, as he sent Smith down to the canvas twice with a series of clubbing punches that were delivered with both violence and precision.

Artur Beterbiebv Crushes Callum Smith at Home | FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS

Beterbiev doesn't really knock you out, he beats his foes into submission. But make no doubt about it, there's a brutal science to what he does inside that ring.

Picture for Demolition ManMikey Williams/Top Rank

“It’s because of luck. It’s my coach. My team works hard with me, too. Maybe that’s why, too. But I think it’s because of luck," said Beterbiev, who Mark Kriegel of ESPN described as ''pathologically modest'' in the intermediate aftermath of his latest demolition. Regardless, if we are to believe Beterbiev -- and I'm certainly not going to get into any disagreements with the guy -- he is the luckiest guy on the face of the earth since Lou Gehrig.

Now, there is only one more hurdle to knock down (Beterbiev goes through things, not over or around them), and that would be Dmitry Bivol, who has the last remaining belt (WBA) that is not in his possession. A Beterbiev-Bivol bout would be one of the best pure match-ups the sport has to offer.

Picture for Demolition ManMikey Williams/Top Rank

“Yes, of course {I want the Bivol fight}. I need another belt. It would mean a lot to me," stated Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs). Unlike in years past, there is an economic stimulus that can, and will, bring these boxer's together.  It resides in Saudi Arabia.

Bob Arum stated, “It’s not done yet. But absolutely we want to do it. I’ll be talking to my friend His Excellency Turki Alalshikh. I know he wants to do it, but Ramadan is coming. So, about three months after the end Ramadan we’ll be ready to fight Dmitry Bivol, probably in Riyadh.”



The last bout on the ESPN+ portion of the undercard, was a bout between WBO bantamweight titlist, Jason Moloney, and challenger Saul Sanchez. It was a pitched battle from the early rounds, and both combatants emptied the tank till the very end.

NON-STOP! Jason Moloney Delivers War in First Defense | FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS


This was a very close fight, in my view both men made an argument for winning six or seven rounds, with many of the stanza's being very difficult to score. There were momentum swings within the rounds themselves, which made this an awfully difficult bout to judge. Kriegel scored this a draw for ESPN. 

Picture for Demolition ManMikey Williams/Top Rank

But at the end of the night, it was Moloney retaining his belt by the scores of 114-114 and two cards at 116-112(which seemed exorbitant) in the favor of Moloney.  The year has just begun, but mark this one down as an early entrant for 2024 'fight of the year'. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it again.



Christian Mbilli (26-0, 22 KOs) is a guy that punches first (second, third and fourth) and thinks later. Yeah, you could say he has vulnerabilities. and the elite at 168 will punch holes in him. You may be right. And guess what? I don't care. All you internet armchair Angelo Dundee's can pick out his flaws, me? I just want to appreciate his style and fighting temperament.

Picture for Demolition ManMikey Williams/Top Rank

He made quite an impression to a national audience on ESPN watching him for the first time as he scored a sixth round TKO of Rohan Murdock (27-3, 19 KOs).

SLUGFEST! Christian Mbilli Takes It in a Brawl vs Murdock | FIGHT HIGHLIGHTS


This guy makes for good television viewing. And yeah, perhaps the likes of Saul Alvarez and David Benavidez slash him up. But wouldn't you like to see it? Every division needs a few guys like Mbilli. Whatever technical defiencies he has isn't the problem.

Those who can't appreciate him are. 







About Author
Demolition Man
  • 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.