Hard-hitting punchers clash in a light heavyweight unification battle this weekend as undefeated Artur Beterbiev takes on Joe Smith Jr. The WBO, WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles will be up for grabs when the two champions meet on Saturday, June 18, at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Bet on Beterbiev vs Smith Here
Online sportsbook Sportsbook has got you covered with all the Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr. odds. Beterbiev has vaulted to a heavy -900 favorite, while Smith lags as a +500 underdog.
That means sports bettors backing Beterbiev must wager $900 to generate winnings of $100, while a successful $100 bet on Smith would produce winnings of $500.
Beterbiev vs Smith Odds
Odds as of June 15 at Sportsbook
A deeper dive into the Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr. odds using our sports betting calculator tells us that Beterbiev’s -900 odds translate to an implied win probability of 90.00 percent, while Smith’s +500 odds suggest he has just a 16.67 percent implied win probability.
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Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr. Odds Analysis
Undefeated in 17 ring appearances as a pro, Beterbiev has steadily gained momentum during his march to WBC and IBF light heavyweight champion.
The 29-year-old Russian, who now calls Montreal home, has enjoyed steady support at the sportsbooks during his rise to the championship ranks. He sported odds as short as -1250 in his last outing, a ninth-round KO win over Marcus Browne in front of hometown fans at Bell Centre.
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The lone exception to Beterbiev’s lengthy love affair with oddsmakers came ahead of the 2019 TKO win over Oleksandr Gvozdyk that earned him the IBF crown, which he claimed as a slender -105 underdog.
Smith Winning Over Skeptical Sports Bettors
Joe Smith Jr. enjoyed little backing ahead of his failed March 2019 bid for the WBA light heavyweight crown, fading to a distant +1400 bet in his unanimous-decision loss to current champion Dmitry Bivol.
However, he has redeemed himself with four victories since, with the -1600 odds he enjoyed in his last contest against Steve Geffrard representing his best position at the sportsbooks since rising to the top of the division.
Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr. Betting Preview
Few fighters at any weight hit harder than Artur Beterbiev. And that is reflected in his perfect 17-0-0 pro record, which features 17 finishes, including 12 knockouts inside five rounds. That dominance continued in his last outing, a ninth-round knockout win over Marcus Browne last December.
Despite suffering a severe cut due to an unintentional head butt, Beterbiev steadily gained momentum as that fight progressed, knocking down Browne in the seventh before finishing him off in the ninth.
Indeed, Beterbiev has clearly outclassed his most recent opponents, who have often spent more time trying to defend themselves against a violent onslaught than taking the fight to the champion. That was certainly the case in the champion’s two outings prior to his date with Browne.
Beterbiev steadily wore down Oleksandr Gvozdyk in their October 2019 bout before knocking him down twice and claiming the WBC light heavyweight title. And while Adam Deines managed to survive until the 10th round in their March 2021 date, victory was never going to be an option.
However, Beterbiev is likely to face a much tougher road against Smith, who sports impressive punching power of his own and an almost inhuman ability to take a punch.
Smith Showing Resilience In The Ring
“The Irish Bomber” looked to be headed for greatness while Sportsbook his pro boxing career on a 23-1-0 run that featured 20 knockout victories. However, he has struggled to maintain that momentum as the competition has heated up.
Riding high in the wake of impressive wins over Bernard Hopkins and Andrzej Fonfara, Smith ran into a far hungrier opponent and was thoroughly outboxed by Cuban veteran Sullivan Barrera in a unanimous-decision loss almost five years ago.
He once again looked to be out of his league while arguably not winning a single round in a unanimous-decision loss to Dmitry Bivol in his bid for the WBA 175-pound strap.
Those losses may have been the wake-up call that Smith required. While he needed a split decision to get past Jesse Hart and a majority decision to vanquish Maxim Vlasov, the Long Island native displayed his devastating punching ability in knockout wins over Geffrard and Eleider Alvarez.
Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr. Pick
While there has been a growing expectation that this slugfest will result in a knockout win sooner rather than later, sports bettors may want to temper their expectations.
There is no question that both fighters hit hard, and Beterbiev is perched as a betting favorite for good reason. However, Smith’s resilience cannot be overlooked. The Irish Bomber has proven his ability to get as well as he gives in the ring, surviving lengthy beatings and taking opponents the distance despite being badly overmatched.
Accordingly, Beterbiev will likely have to throw everything in his arsenal at Smith if he is to win this fight inside the distance.