Artur Beterbiev is gearing up to defend his IBF, WBC and WBO light heavyweight belts against mandatory challenger Callum Smith on August 19 at the Videotron Center in Quebec.
As previously reported on BoxingScene.com, Beterbiev's head trainer, Marc Ramsay, has a lot of respect for Smith and views him as perhaps the toughest opponent of his boxer's career.
“It is possibly the biggest challenge of his career. We are talking about a guy similar to Oleksandr Gvozdyk who was also quite a challenge. [Gvozdyk] had to come to beat Adonis Stevenson in Quebec. I see him a little more physical, with perhaps the same technical level. [Smith] is easily in the top 2," Ramsay explained to Jean-Charles Lajoie.
Smith, a former super middleweight champion, has a single defeat on his record - a 2020 twelve round decision loss to Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
Having the fight in his backyard will give Beterbiev an mental edge.
“As Artur's coach, you can understand all the advantages of doing the event here. There is the support of the crowd, but also all the logistical aspects. He is happy, but he is also conscious [of the moment]. We have traveled a lot in recent years. He knows the complexity of boxing outside [of the country], going to perform and winning outside [of the country]. He knows the advantage it can give us,” Ramsay said.
Some critics believe Beterbiev, 38-years-old, is starting to show his age.
Back in January, Beterviev was shaken up a few times and behind on the cards when he knocked out mandatory challenger Antony Yarde.
Ramsay has seen no evidence of "age" in training camp.
“At the moment, there is no slowdown in the gym. We do not see it in terms of his metabolism and in terms of his performance either. As long as it goes well like that, we will continue to move forward," Ramsay said.