Artur Beterbiev reacts to fighting at the age of 37- 'Why you remind me?'

Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson - Getty Images
Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Johnson - Getty Images

Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr. will take place on June 18 at Madison Square Garden, New York. Both men will be competing for the Unified Light Heavyweight Championship, with the WBC, IBF & WBO belts on the line.

The official press conference took center stage on June 16 as the fight draws closer.

The Russian was asked if he's had to make any adjustments to his training camp due to now being 37-years-old, to which he replied:

"I'm thirty-seven? Why you remind me? I always ask my conditioning and boxing coach, 'Shall I do less work than two years ago?' They tell me, 'No, you're doing better than two years ago.' Maybe they lied to me but I don't know."

Artur Beterbiev turned 37 in January but will be taking a lot of experience and knowledge into the unification bout.

Joe Smith Jr., on the other hand, will be entering the ring five years younger than his opponent. Smith will also get a boost from his home crowd, which will likely give the American a slight increase in momentum.

Watch the full press conference here:

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Is 37 too old for Artur Beterbiev to be competing at this level?

The short answer is no. The Russian carries bundles of experience, especially from his amateur days and is a world class fighter.

Many elite fighters continued to perform at the top level during their late thirties too, including Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Roy Jones Jr. and Gennadiy Golovkin.

Mayweather retired when he was 41 years old after claiming a stoppage victory over Conor Mcgregor in a huge spectacle. The American is still competing, albeit in exhibition bouts.

Pacquiao retired when he was 42 years of age, after officially announcing that he wanted to focus full-time on politics. The eight-weight world champion retired after losing to Yordenis Ugas in 2021.

Roy Jones Jr. also retired very late as a professional when he decided to hang up his gloves at the age of 49. The American defeated Scott Sigmon in a ten-round contest. Jones has since returned to the ring but only for an exhibition match against Mike Tyson in 2020.

Golovkin is still an active fighter at the age of 40 and is currently a world champion. The Kazakh has held the IBF title since 2019 and the WBA (Super) title since April 2022. Furthermore, he is set to enter a trilogy bout against Canelo Alvarez in September this year.

As long as Artur Beterbiev keeps his body in shape, he will likely be able to sustain a longer career. The Russian will be aiming to unify the light heavyweight division on Saturday night before setting his eyes on an undisputed matchup against Dmitry Bivol.

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Edited by Allan Mathew