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Callum Smith wants to 'show world how good I am' as he prepares to end unbeaten record of Artur Beterbiev

‘I believe I’m a better, smarter fighter’; Callum Smith believes he has the tools to beat Artur Beterbiev for the unified WBO, WBC and IBF light-heavyweight world titles, live on Sky Sports in the early hours of Sunday morning

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Callum Smith says he will need to be switched on from the off when he challenges Artur Beterbiev

Callum Smith, who is aiming to become a two-weight world champion, has vowed to shock the world as he looks to usurp Artur Beterbiev as the king of the 175-pound division.

Beterbiev has built a fearsome reputation, having knocked out all his opponents to date in his 19 wins.

In January last year, he beat Anthony Yarde in a fight of the year contender, while another Brit in Callum Johnson was also stopped back in 2018, although the undefeated champion was put down heavily in that bout.

Smith though isn't overawed at the prospect of facing the 38-year-old in hostile territory, having previously beaten George Groves on foreign soil to claim his maiden world title at super-middleweight and winning the World Boxing Super Series in the process.

"I believe I'm a better, smarter fighter. I just think I catch him before he catches me. I can get rid of him. I do believe I've got the style to beat him. Hopefully I can show the world how good I am," he said on the Toe2Toe podcast.

"I believe I can outbox him. He's not invincible. He doesn't go in and whitewash everyone, he does lose rounds and he is there to be hit. I've seen two fighters put him down as a professional. I just believe however the fight goes, I come out victorious.

"I know how good I am, I know how good I can be. I've got to be disciplined for every second of every minute of every round.

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"When I won my world title, I was an underdog against George Groves and it's good to prove people wrong, people who've doubted you before, people who've picked you to lose. It just gives you a little bit more of a point to prove."

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Andy Scott speaks to Smith ahead of his light-heavyweight unification fight against Beterbiev

Smith's sole defeat came at the hands of another pound-for-pound contender in Canelo Alvarez, which saw him surrender his WBA title at super-middleweight.

However, when asked if Beterbiev was his toughest test to date, the 33-year-old was unequivocal in his response, stating: "Yes, I've got to go out there and take the belt off him. I'm fighting a man with a 100 percent knockout ratio.

"If he isn't the toughest fight of my career, I wouldn't like to meet who is! I will prove all the doubters wrong and come home a world champion.

"Most probably just judge me off the Canelo performance. The version of me against Canelo doesn't beat Beterbiev. I know that.

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

"I know the best version of me beats Beterbiev and I've just got to make sure the best version of me turns up, remind people what I'm capable of, show people how good I am."

The other champion in the light-heavyweight division is Dmitry Bivol, who holds the WBA belt.

The Russian is also considered one of the best fighters in the world, having caused an upset against Alvarez before dominating highly rated Gilberto Ramirez.

Talk of an undisputed clash between Bivol and Beterbiev hasn't subsided, with the pair seemingly on a collision course in 2024.

Smith though plans on changing the narrative and securing his own legacy, saying: "To focus on a fight past me is naïve on his behalf. I fully intend on going there and ripping the script up.

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

"I don't blame him for wanting to become undisputed. I've been a world champion myself and that was always my goal, to fight the champions.

"I've got the best fight possible for me in this division. If I win, I become a two-weight world champion and three world titles. That's been the biggest motivation for me and I'm very, very close to achieving it."

After suffering his only defeat in 30 fights at the hands of Alvarez back in 2020, Smith has since registered two devastating knockouts since moving up to light-heavyweight.

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

Having knocked out fellow Brit Groves back in 2018 in Saudi Arabia to win the WBA and Ring super-middleweight titles, the Liverpudlian hopes he can further enhance his reputation with a surprise triumph overseas.

"It is about belts and legacy, that's what motivates me. I want to become a two-weight world champion. I want to win all the belts. If I win this fight, I tick all those boxes. I'm a two-division world champion, I own every title you can possibly win," he said.

"I think my last few performances at 168 showed it was taking away from my performance. I had outgrown the weight. Being champion, I just kept holding my belt and stayed there that little bit too long.

Callum Smith (left) celebrates victory in the WBA World, WBC Diamond & Ring Magazine Super-Middleweight Titles fight at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool. PA Photo. Picture date: Saturday November 23, 2019. See PA story BOXING Liverpool. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire.
Image: Smith won his maiden world title at 168 pounds

"I feel a completely different fighter. I feel better. I feel explosive and powerful again, which I felt I was starting to lose before the end of the 168 days."

The fight, which was originally scheduled to take place in August last year, had to be postponed after Beterbiev had jaw surgery.

That's led to fears that Smith could suffer from ring rust, with his last bout coming in the summer of 2022.

Callum Smith
Image: Smith has impressed since jumping up to the 175-pound division

That doesn't concern him though, with the Englishman highlighting his opponent's long absence from the ring too.

"I've been inactive before. I think before the [Mathieu] Bauderlique fight, I was out for 11 months and got in and performed well. Look it's not ideal. I've had preferred to have fought, especially when the fight got postponed," he claimed.

"It's not ideal but I do think it's kind of made it a bit of a level playing field because he's been out for 12 months. I think we're both in the inactive category. He's had a year out, I've had 17 months out, what's the difference?"

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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