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Tyson Fury should beat Oleksandr Usyk, says Artur Beterbiev, but only if he has prepared well

Artur Beterbiev fought a sequence of bouts with Oleksandr Usyk, now the unified heavyweight champion, when they were both amateurs; Beterbiev doesn't rule out moving up in weight himself but insists he is fully focused on next opponent Callum Smith; Watch Beterbiev vs Smith live on Sky

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Tyson Fury launched a verbal attack on Oleksandr Usyk at the press conference for their undisputed world heavyweight title fight

Artur Beterbiev beat Oleksandr Usyk once, and he believes Tyson Fury will do so too when the Briton fights him for the undisputed heavyweight title.

Beterbiev, who is the holder the WBC, WBO and IBF light-heavyweight championships, lost to Usyk in two exciting bouts at 91kgs in the 2011 amateur World championships and 2012 Olympics.

But he is the first to point out that he also holds an amateur win over Usyk, beating the Ukrainian when they were both light-heavyweights.

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Liam Smith is optimistic his brother Callum can cause an upset against fearsome light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev this weekend

He shrugged off those past defeats. "That time my weight was only 83kgs," he told Sky Sports. "I've never been 90kgs in a fight.

"We had another fight too in the amateurs," he added. "There was a match [in Russia], I had fight with him there at 81kgs and I beat him on the first day [of the tournament].

"You know Oleksandr Usyk, he does his job very well. What I can say, good for him."

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Paul Smith is backing his brother Callum to secure an explosive win over Artur Beterbiev this weekend

That is something of an understatement. Usyk has excelled as a professional, beating Anthony Joshua to win the WBO, IBF and WBA heavyweight titles, and his February fight with WBC titlist Fury gives him the chance to become a two-weight undisputed champion.

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But his amateur rival Beterbiev thinks that Fury will be victorious in that fight next month.

"I said when they fight, Oleksandr Usyk with Joshua, I said I think Joshua is going to win. I'm more for Joshua because he's a real heavyweight. He's not a cruiserweight," Beterbiev said.

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Callum Smith says he will need to be switched on from the off when he challenges Artur Beterbiev for the unified WBO, WBC and IBF light-heavyweight world titles, live on Sky Sports in the early hours of Sunday morning

"There's a big difference. I say who is preparing well, will win. Now too, I think Tyson Fury is going to win. But who's preparing well, he's going to win."

Beterbiev has been dominant as a professional fighter himself and this weekend defends his unified light-heavyweight titles against Liverpool's Callum Smith, live on Sky Sports Main Event from 1.15am on Sunday.

If he does win, with his devastating punch power, he could consider a future move up in weight, or stay at 175lbs and target his own undisputed fight with Dmitry Bivol.

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Callum Smith's trainer Buddy McGirt believes Artur Beterbiev has not faced power like Smith's before as he eyes a fast start for his fighter

"It's interesting. Let's talk about it after," he said with a faint smile. "I don't know who is there next.

"But I'm all focused now for my next opponent, Callum Smith."

Callum Smith challenges Artur Beterbiev live on Sky Sports Arena from 1am and Sky Sports Main Event from 1.15am on Sunday.


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