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Artur Beterbiev knocks out Callum Smith, defends titles again: Who is next for the champion?

Artur Beterbiev returned to the ring for the first time in over a year on Saturday night, defeating Callum Smith via seventh round TKO. The win marks the second defense of his unified light heavyweight titles after winning the WBO belt in June of 2022.

Smith suffered just the second loss of his career, with the other coming at the hands of Canelo Alvarez.

Who's next for Beterbiev?

Beterbiev came out of the gates hot, putting Smith on the ropes within the first 30 seconds of the fight. He then won round after round after round, consistently landing face and body punches alike.

A huge fourth round from the Russian-Canadian nearly saw Smith go down, but the Englishman stayed in there. In the seventh, Beterbiev knocked down Smith twice. Smith had never hit the canvas in his career before tonight.

Smith's corner stepped in and ended the fight. It was all Beterbiev from start to finish.

Surely, Beterbiev's next fight has to be against Dmitry Bivol. Bivol holds the final key to being undisputed: the WBA light heavyweight belt. Bivol is coming off of yet another title defense, having beaten Lyndon Arthur by unanimous decision in late December.

A fight against Canelo has been rumored, but it's a risky proposition for both fighters. At 38 years old, right now could be his last chance to become undisputed.

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