Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith Picks and Predictions: Another Knockout In the Works?

Artur Beterbiev can pick up his 20th career knockout — and continue his 100% KO rate — by taking down Callum Smith in Quebec City on January 13. Can Smith crack through the aging armor or will he just be another notch in Beterbiev's belt?

Jan 13, 2024 • 19:42 ET • 4 min read
Artur Beterbiev Boxing
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Artur Beterbiev defends his three light heavyweight titles against Callum Smith in the first major boxing attraction of 2024, taking place tonight, January 13, from the Videotron Center in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

The hard-hitting Beterbiev has knocked out every opponent he’s faced, but if father time is nipping on his heels, Smith is equipped to spring a major upset.

Boxing betting odds tab Beterbiev as a -450 favorite, and Smith comes back as a +320 underdog. 

Read on for my free betting picks for Beterbiev vs. Smith from Quebec City.

Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith odds

Method of victory Artur Beterbiev Callum Smith
Win outright -500 +350
Win by KO/TKO -200 +800
Win by points or decision +335 +640
Draw +2,500 +2,500

Odds courtesy of Bet99 as of January 13, 2023.

Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith betting predictions

Picks made on January 8. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith boxing prediction and best bet

Prediction: Beterbiev ML

Beterbiev has reigned as the top champ at light heavyweight since 2017 and is now on the cusp of an undisputed title fight against Dmitry Bivol later this year. The 38-year-old bruiser is starting to show signs of wear, including a tougher-than-expected challenge against Anthony Yarde last January, and a jaw infection delayed this fight from last summer to now. While Beterbiev is aging, he remains a technically skilled power puncher with excellent finishing and an iron jaw — infection notwithstanding.

Smith proved his worth as a quality super middleweight, but as evidenced in his fights against John Ryder and Saul Alvarez, who were significantly smaller than him, doesn’t deal well with pressure fighters. Beterbiev is going to be on Smith all night, and while Smith took his lumps and stayed on his feet while being dominated by Alvarez, fighting with a survival mindset against Beterbiev is going to result in a painful night. 

Smith’s light heavyweight run consists of a pair of knockouts over regional-level opponents, and he is the younger fighter with a five-inch reach advantage. However, so much of Smith’s chances of victory rely on Beterbiev suddenly aging to the point where he can’t pull the trigger. As long as Beterbiev moves forward, it’ll be the younger fighter who will not want to engage.

Beterbiev remains the best fighter in the division, and he’ll leave no doubt of that by beating Smith and securing his date with Bivol in definitive fashion.

Prediction: Artur Beterbiev moneyline (-450 at DraftKings)

Best Bet: Beterbiev by KO/TKO/DQ

Beterbiev has gone blow for blow against big hitters, eventually overwhelming them down the stretch. Four of his last five fights have gone beyond eight rounds. Smith might have spent too much time at super middleweight as he’s looked revitalized in a new weight class, delivering two brutal knockouts. Smith has only fought twice since the December 2020 loss to Alvarez, whereas Beterbiev has fought four times.

Yarde did better than expected by being first and showing no fear of the champion's power. He didn’t have a choice, but Yarde took advantage of Beterbiev’s willingness to sacrifice defense for offense and lasted nine rounds. Smith doesn’t possess Yarde’s power, but his total makeup gives Beterbiev the biggest challenge of his career since his 2019 war with Oleksandr Gvozdyk. Even then, Beterbiev was putting a torrid beating on Gvozdyk before the fight was stopped in the 10th.

Smith won’t keep Beterbiev off him long enough to build a big enough lead if he has to fight on his back foot. He was bullied all over the ring by Alvarez and took his fair share of shots against a lesser fighter in Ryder. Unable to stop the pressure, and after he sees his best shots land with no effect, he’ll get broken down to be knockout victim No. 20 for Beterbiev.

Prediction: Artur Beterbiev by KO/TKO/DQ (-220 at DraftKings)

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Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith betting preview

The undefeated Dagestani champion Beterbiev has held a portion of the light heavyweight title since 2017. Operating with heavy pressure and excellent finishing skills, Beterbiev has a 100% knockout rate and has been the premier fighter of the division, yet is still angling for a major fight. Beterbiev has wins over Yarde, Gvozdyk, Joe Smith Jr., and Tavouris Cloud. 

Former super middleweight champion Smith won the 2018 World Boxing Super Series, and eventually got a mega fight against Alvarez in 2020. Since the loss, Smith has moved up in weight and has looked devastating, including a second-round stoppage of Lenin Castillo that necessitated a stretcher. Smith has wins over Groves, Ryder, Rocky Fielding, and Erik Skoglund.

Smith’s youth, boxing acumen, and five-inch advantage in reach make him a formidable opponent for the champion, but he cannot afford to let Beterbiev put him on the back foot. Beterbiev cannot allow Smith to get comfortable and control the action in the middle of the ring, so expect him to charge forward and pin him against the ropes. This will be Beterbiev’s first fight in a year, whereas Smith has been inactive since August 2022.

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