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Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith: Is the unified light-heavyweight champion the scariest fighter in boxing?

Artur Beterbiev is an intimidating fighter. With a 100 per cent knockout ratio, he has unified the IBF, WBC and WBO world titles and ahead of Sunday’s defence against Callum Smith his words carry an implicit threat; “I’ll bring everything for this,” Beterbiev warns

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Artur Beterbiev holds a perfect KO record and pound for pound has the heaviest hands in professional boxing

Artur Beterbiev doesn’t consider himself a scary man.

Perhaps he should. The unified light-heavyweight has showcased his destructive punching power in all of his professional contests, halting every opponent he's faced.

Even when badly cut, like in his bout with Marcus Browne, or hurt momentarily, as he was against Britain's Callum Johnson, he has always found a way to hammer out an inside-the-distance victory.

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Callum Smith tells the Toe2Toe podcast his upcoming fight against Artur Beterbiev is the biggest fight possible for him right now

Even his calm appraisal of this weekend's championship defence against Liverpool's Callum Smith sounds like a threat.

"One category lower he was champion," Beterbiev said of Smith. "First of all, he's coming up to our category. 175lbs is 175lbs and we'll see what happens there. Maybe in the lower category, he's good there but here it's 175.

"After we can say how is he," he continued. "We'll see. We'll see."

Beterbiev has picked up the IBF, WBO and WBC light-heavyweight titles. He will put those on the line against Smith, a former WBA belt-holder at super-middle, at the Videotron Center in Quebec, live on Sky Sports Arena from 1am on Sunday.

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But while he has been a dominant force in professional boxing, he declines to describe himself as the scariest man in the sport.

"I try to do my job. The best way that I can and that's it," he told Sky Sports. "I'm not focused for the knockout or something else. For example in camp we do a couple of strategies. We have a couple of strategies for the fight.

"We always do preparation for 12 rounds."

But he does deny that he has any additional vulnerability, after having to postpone this fight last year when an infection in his jaw required surgery.

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Liverpool's Callum Smith will challenge Artur Beterbiev for the unified light-heavyweight world titles, live on Sky Sports. Top Rank Boxing president Todd DuBoef expects a knockout in the fight but can't predict who wins

"Everything's good," Beterbiev said. "It was bad enough, if we cancel the fight. I'd never cancel a fight if there was something small.

"I think it would be worse if I wasn't training. I'm always training.

"I do sparring, everything's good," he continued. "Now it's good.

"Everything's going well."

As a professional fighter, Beterbiev has based himself in Canada. After unifying the three belts in New York and defending them against Anthony Yarde in London, this fight with Smith will be a homecoming.

But Beterbiev won't let himself enjoy that until the bout is over.

Image: Artur Beterbiev is the unified light-heavyweight champion

"The out of ring atmosphere is the second part of my job. I'm happy if people come to see this fight to support me," he reflected. "But I'm always focused for the fight. The atmosphere in the ring, it's more interesting for me.

"Like all my opponents, he's a good boxer," the champion said of Smith. "He's a good fighter, a good challenge for me. Like everyone. I try to be ready for this challenge 100 per cent, like usual.

"I know he will bring everything for this fight and I bring everything for this fight.

"And we will see who is better."

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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