Artur Beterbiev takes on Joe Smith Jr in a clash for the WBC, IBF, and WBO world titles in a huge light-heavyweight unification contest in New York.
Beterbiev has held the IBF title since 2017 and the Russian-born boxer collected the WBC belt in 2019. King Artur is the red-hot 1/8 favourite, with Smith rated 9/2 for the upset.
This bout offers the opportunity for one fighter to hold three of the four major light-heavyweight world titles, with Dmitry Bivo the holder of the WBA 175lbs crown.
What: Artur Beterbiev v Joe Smith Jr
Where: Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater, New York
When: 03:00am, Sunday 19th June 2022
How to watch: Sky Sports Main Event & Action
Odds: Beterbiev 1/8, Smith Jr 9/2, draw 22/1.
The fight will take place in the early hours of Sunday, 19th June, 2022.
The fight card gets underway at 22:00 UK time. The main event is expected to get underway at 03:00am.
The contest will take place at Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater in New York. The venue is generally used when the main arena is either unavailable or when it's thought that it will not fill.
The Hulu Theater played host to Mike Tyson's clash with Sammy Scaff in 1985, Eddie Murphy's Raw show in 1987 and the draw for 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifying rounds.
The fight will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and Action. It's a late night boxing feast for UK fight fans.
Beterbiev is the heavy 1/8 market leader. Smith is rated a 9/2 shot, for what would be a major upset, and the draw is a 22/1 chance.
All 17 of Beterbiev's professional victories have come by knockout and the Russian-born banger is 4/11 to make it 18 stoppage triumphs.
There are three of the four major belts on the line in this light-heavyweight unification contest. Beterbiev has held the IBF title since 2017 and he added the WBC belt to his collection in 2019.
Smith won the vacant WBO title, when beating Maxim Vlasov last year and this will be the second defence of his world crown.
Bivol is the WBA light-heavyweight champion and there has to be a good chance of a potential undisputed 175lbs clash later this year.
Beterbiev is unbeaten in 17 professional contests, but even that blemish-free record sells King Artur a little short. The Russian-born boxer is a ferocious puncher and all of Beterbiev's victories have come by stoppage.
The Dagestan dueler won the first of his world crowns when stopping Enrico Koelling in the 12th back in 2017. Beterbiev then successfully defended his title against Britain's Callum Johnson and Radivoje Kalajdzic, before adding the WBC belt, when knocking out Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
The Ukrainian was previously undefeated himself, and the Nail had hammered the powerful Adonis Stevenson to win the WBC crown. That's strong form, as is The Dagestan dueler's most recent victory over Marcus Browne.
Smith has three defeats on his 31-fight card. However, one of those reversals came in the early stages of the Irish Bomber's career and another was against the elite-level Bivol.
The Long Islander was also beaten by the useful Sullivan Barrera, but Smith has saved his best performances for his most recent bouts.
The Irish Bomber won the NABO light-heavy title when beating Jesse Hart in 2020 and he then went on to stop Eleider Alvarez.
Smith then stepped in with experienced Russian Maxim Vlasov for the vacant WBO 175lbs belt. Vlasov was past his best in that contest, and it's still a way off the company Beterbiev has been mixing in, but it was a good win against a tough fighter.
Robeisy Ramirez and Abraham Nova's featherweight clash is the chief support in New York. Elsewhere, there are outings for Wendy Toussaint and promising Schenectady slugger Jahyae Brown.