Artur Beterbiev ruthlessly demolished Joe Smith Jr inside of two rounds at Madison Square Backyard garden to include the WBO gentle-heavyweight title to his IBF and WBC belts.
Beterbiev dropped his opponent 3 instances in advance of referee Harvey Dock called a halt to the just one-sided contest and confirmed victory for the tricky-hitting Russian-born Canadian.
Only Dmitry Bivol, who holds the WBA version of the gentle-heavyweight title, now stands in the way of a cleanse sweep of the division for the undefeated 37-yr-old.
“I wanted to be a superior boxer right now,” reported Beterbiev, who prolonged his experienced document to 18 knockouts from 18. “That’s why I was a minor bit superior than I was in the earlier.
“Joe is a minor bit open and it was additional straightforward for me to get him. It was two fighters who both have a great punch and equally have been seeking to get there 1st.
“This time, I bought blessed and bought him initially. Unification fights are extra interesting, far more motivating – I want to be undisputed.”
Smith, who went into the ring with a 28-3 file, was stopped for only the 2nd time in his profession as his defence proved insufficient to repel Beterbiev’s electrical power.
A barrage of heavy right hands identified their mark in the opening round, with one particular sending Smith onto 1 knee just right before the bell.
Smith sprang back again up soon after using a identical shot early in the second, but he was then despatched sprawling into the ropes by a left soon later on.
Left and ideal uppercuts followed in the wake of the third knockdown and when Smith was wobbled again by an additional suitable that landed on the again of his head, the referee stepped in with 41 seconds remaining in the round.