Smith shook Bivol with a hook to the ear. The gong saved the Russian from disaster. Video

Denis Dorofeev

Denis Dorofeev

Smith hit Bivol with a hook to the ear

Artur Beterbiev always needs to keep Joe Smith’s hidden “dynamites” in mind.

On the night of June 18-19 Moscow time, a light heavyweight unification bout between Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. will take place. Three belts will be at stake: WBC, IBF, WBO. For Smith, this is the third fight with the prefix top, and for Beterbiev – only the second. Previously, the American fought with Bernard Hopkins, whom he put the squeeze on and retired by knockout outside the ring. He also dealt with Dmitry Bivol in March 2019.

And despite the declasse in the performance of our fighter, Smith was able to cause trouble to Dmitry. At first, Joe tried to crush the Russian with pressure, but Bivol broke his pressure with smart movements. Dima knocked down the opponent’s rhythm with constant work on his feet and regular hits in return. Therefore, Smith could not get close to our fighter, doing nothing but shaking the air. In this vein, all 12 rounds went. The dominance of our fighter was so noticeable that after seven three minutes the score of accurate hits was 117:19 in favor of Bivol.

The video is available on the DAZN Boxing YouTube channel. Video rights belong to DAZN Boxing

In the ninth round, the straightforward American, losing in all respects, dived head first and threw the Russian onto the canvas. The referee warned Joe that next time he would deduct a point from him. And in the tenth three-minute period, Dima finally declassed Smith, easily fluttering around the discouraged opponent and repeatedly hitting from various angles and positions. But at the same time as the gong, Joe was able to shock Bivol with a right hook to the ear and pushed him away.

Our fighter chattered and he walked to his corner, leaning on the ropes. Despite a bright round, the coach smashed Dmitry for a missed hit.

“Where are you getting out to the left, ***? Now he will jump to finish off … Recover a minute. Play left and right.

Indeed, Smith tried to develop success from the very first seconds. But Bivol managed to recover and spent three minutes in a cautious mode, competently moving around the ring. And in the 12th round, our champion not only interrupted the American, but also almost finished in the last seconds of the fight, scoring him in the corner.

Artur Beterbiev - Joe Smith Jr.

Artur Beterbiev – Joe Smith Jr.


All three judges put up a crushing victory in favor of Bivol – 119:109, 119:109, 118:110. Smith has shown himself to be a very primitive and straightforward fighter who is always looking for a chance to finish a fight ahead of schedule. He is very large for his weight, so he relies on his punching power. With Bivol, he was unlucky that he shook him at the same time as the gong for a break. If this happened in the middle of the round, the Russian would have had a very difficult time.

Beterbiev should not underestimate the opponent’s abilities and always keep in mind the episode from the tenth round of the fight with Bivol, so as not to step on the same rake. The decisive blow can come at the most unexpected moment, especially from Joe Smith Jr. Therefore, Arthur must be not only more powerful than his opponent, but also smarter. Otherwise, the price of past victories is worthless.


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