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  Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith
Final Press Conference Notes


Boxing's knockout king hopes to make 20 for 20 against a British former world champion intent on upsetting the long odds.

WBC/WBO/IBF light heavyweight king Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) will defend his world titles against former super middleweight ruler Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) this Saturday, Jan. 13 at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. Beterbiev, a two-time Russian Olympian who now calls Montreal home, is boxing's only world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio.

In the 10-round super middleweight co-feature, Christian Mbilli (25-0, 21 KOs) will defend his WBC Continental Americas and WBA International titles against Australian contender Rohan Murdock (27-2, 19 KOs).

Beterbiev-Smith and Christian Mbilli-Rohan Murdock will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and ESPN+ beginning at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

The ESPN+-streamed undercard (5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT) will feature Australian world champion Jason Mayhem Moloney (26-2, 19 KOs) defending his WBO bantamweight world title against Mexican-American challenger Saul Sanchez (20-2, 12 KOs).

At Thursday's press conference, this is what the main event fighters and their head trainers had to say.

Artur Beterbiev


Im excited, just like I am for every fight. For this fight, we prepared like we usually do, which is at 100 percent.

Im focused on this fight. Im happy that my supporters are coming to watch us. But I have things to do.

Callum Smith


Im here to do a job. Im here to become a world champion again. Im here with my team. And as long as Im with them, I can be anywhere and feel like home. Im in a good place mentally and physically, and Im ready to perform.

This will be exciting. Hes a very good fighter. Hes a three-belt champion. So, his achievements speak for themselves. But, I believe in myself. I always have. I believe that the best version of me can beat anyone in the world. I fully stand by that."

Ive improved a lot over the last couple of years with {my trainer} Buddy McGirt. And the time is now. Im ready to become a two-division world champion. Im being presented with the opportunity this weekend, and its an opportunity I plan on taking.

Regardless of whether the crowd is cheering for me or against me, Im there to do a job. My focus is on my opponent. Its nice to have people cheering for you. But if theyre not, Im still there to do the same thing.

Marc Ramsay (Beterbiev's head trainer)


Hes a good fighter. Hes a complete. Hes No. 1 for a reason. But at the end of the day, Artur has been boxing since he was nine. Hes seen everything.

Its always good {for him to start camp in Russia}. Its a protocol that weve had for a long time. Weve had success with that protocol. He goes to a high altitude to start training camp the right way and make sure hes not starting the real camp at zero.

Buddy McGirt (Smith's head trainer)


Hes very underrated. I think a lot of people underestimate him. Hes going to really showcase what he can do on Saturday night.

You cant go into the fight thinking about his record. We know whats in front of us. Were not stupid. We know that its a tough test. Were prepared for that. If youre worried about that, youre in the wrong business.



 

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