Five Things We Learned From Beterbiev vs Smith



Five Things We Learned From Beterbiev vs Smith

In what was a thrilling evening from start to finish, the various Beterbiev vs Smith results from last night crescendoed with a masterful performance from the hometown hero which set Quebec, Canada ablaze with excitement.

With the Beterbiev vs Smith results last night now in the rearview, we've had time to digest all of the fascinating fights that took place, and can now detail all of the different results, what we've learned about the various competitors, and can unpack what it all might mean for boxing's ever-changing (and ever-captivating) landscape in 2024 and beyond.

Beterbiev vs Smith Results: Five Things We Learned

1. Never Bet Against Beterbiev

In the Beterbiev vs Smith results last night, we witnessed Artur Beterbiev stop Callum Smith via TKO after the seventh round ended. The measured, sustained beatdown by Beterbiev resulted in Smith being knocked down twice in the seventh round, and his corner calling for the fight to end soon after. 

It was a masterful performance from Beterbiev, that proved why the Russian is on another level compared to his 175 pound competitors —  and showed why we never should have predicted against him leading up to this evening. 

It became clear as soon as the fight began that (in typical Beterbiev fashion) the Russian champion possessed much more power than his opponent, and the Beterbiev vs Smith results proved that. 

Now, we'll have to wait and see what's next in store for the WBC, IBF, and WBO World light heavyweight champion — although we already seem to have a good idea. 

2. Callum Smith Has the Heart of a Champion

While the Beterbiev vs Smith results showed that last night was not his night, we have to give respect to Callum Smith for the heart and grit he showed against the superior Beterbiev. 

While Beterbiev proved to be the better man, Callum Smith still managed to land some solid shots against him throughout the evening; especially when Smith could keep his distance, land the jab consistently, and follow that up with trademark left hook. In fact, Smith had won two rounds on two judge's scorecards prior to the TKO loss. 

During his post-fight interview, Smith made it sound like there's a possibility he'll retire after this soul-crushing defeat. While he's had a great career to this point, we hope the English boxer doesn't call it quits just yet. The Beterbiev vs Smith results proved that he's undoubtedly one of the world's best 175 pound boxers. 

3. Christian Mbilli is Who We Thought He Was

In the co-main event of Beterbiev vs Smith, we witnessed a brutally impressive showing from Christian Mbilli, who is now 26-0 with 22 KO's after his TKO victory over Rohan Murdock — a KO/TKO victory that we correctly predicted

Although Mbilli proved last night why he is currently number one in the rankings at 168 pounds (for both the WBA and WBC) there's unfortunately a bit of a log jam at the top of that weight class —including names like Canelo Álvarez, David Morrell, and David Benavidez — that might keep Mbilli from receiving his well-deserved shot at an undisputed championship.  

Yet, the Beterbiev vs Smith results last night is any indication, glory is soon in store for the undefeated French-Cameroonian fighter, Christian Mbilli.

4. Saul Sanchez Took Jason Moloney to His Limit

While the main and co-main event of Beterbiev vs Smith produced exciting knockout finishes, the most thrilling fight from start to finish had to be Moloney vs Smith.

Moloney — the now 27-2 WBO World Bantamweight champion — went to a decision against Saul Sanchez after a gruesome, back and forth, 12-round war. While we did correctly predict that Moloney would emerge victorious against his challenger, we had no idea that Saul Sanchez would bring Moloney to the absolute brink, and put his championship prowess to the test. 

This was the fight of the night in our eyes, and we can't wait to see where both fighters go from here. 

5. Beterbiev vs Bivol Needs to Be Next

The fifth and final thing we learned from the Beterbiev vs Smith results is that Beterbiev's next opponent needs to be Dmitry Bivol, the current WBA World Light Heavyweight champion.

If this super-fight does end up getting made — discussions for which already seem to be taking place, and an announcement might be imminent — Beterbiev vs Bivol might end up being the best fight we see in 2024. As for Beterbiev, his post-fight words made it clear that he welcomes the challenge. 

While we're right to get excited about the super-fight that could be next up for Beterbiev, for now we should just feel grateful that we got to watch another world-class fight card from Top Rank in Quebec, Canada last night. 

It's fight cards like last night which prove that the state of boxing is in an excellent spot — and only appears to be getting better, as we dive head-first into 2024. 

Grant Young is a sports writer from San Francisco. He has had two professional Muay Thai fights: he got knocked out in one, and got a knockout in the other. When it comes to his favorite fighters, it's Israel Adesanya, and then it's everyone else.