Marc Ramsey, head trainer for WBC, IBF, WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, expects a very dangerous task when they face mandatory challenger Callum Smith on August 19 at the Videotron Center in Quebec.
Smith, a former super middleweight champion, suffered his only career defeat by way of a twelve round decision in December of 2020.
At the time of the loss, Smith had been struggling to make the super middleweight limit of 168 for some time. In the aftermath, he immediately moved up to 175-pounds.
Since heading to a high weight division, Smith picked up two devastating knockout wins to secure his mandatory crack at Beterbiev.
The Russian boxer is coming off one of the toughest fights of his career. Down on two of the official scorecards and stunned several times in the contest, Beterbiev stopped Anthony Yarde in the eighth round.
Some observers felt the 38-year-old champion was starting to show his age.
Ramsey has a lot of respect for Smith and views him as the most dangerous opponent of Beterbiev's career - which is why he intends to exclusively train Beterbiev, while his other protege Christian Mbilli, who is slated to appear on the undercard, will be left in the good care of Russ Anber and Samuel Décarie.
"[Callum Smith is] the best boxer we've faced," said Ramsay to the Quebec Journal. “It's not a situation that I like [to leave Mbilli with others], but the magnitude of this fight means that I can't have my mind in several different places. All of my attention will be on Artur.
“Smith is a complete 6'3" boxer with a long reach. He has a lot of skill, speed and power. It's a complex fight, but it's a fascinating challenge for us."
Should Beterbiev win, he would like to pursue an undisputed fight with WBA world champion Dmitry Bivol.