GEORGE GROVES says timing could be everything when Callum Smith challenges Artur Beterbiev next month.
The Liverpudlian light-heavyweight travels to Canada to take on the Russian for the 175lbs championship in Quebec City on August 19.
Beterbiev has seen off all of his 19 opponents with a mix of world-class skill and devastating power that puts him in the mix as the most difficult challenge in boxing.
Groves fought Smith in the final fight of his career five years ago and talked up the chances of his former foe when Boxing News spoke to him recently.
“Callum’s a force,” he said. “He’s a good fighter, he’s got good punch power. Sometimes he’s blown hot and cold, but I always thought that was maybe weight dependent and when he does the weight well, he boxes well. At light heavyweight he hasn’t really put a foot wrong yet.
“This might be the right time to get Beterbiev. If he catches him early and hurts him. Callum Johnson caught him but got stopped. He does go over. It might be the right time for him.”
Smith made his light-heavyeweight debut in September 2021 with a crushing second round win against Gilberto Castillo Rivera. Eleven months later he needed just two rounds more to finish off Mathieu Bauderlique.
Beterbiev will look to take the third British scalp of his career on August 19. After a topsy turvy encounter Callum Johnson was put away in four rounds five years ago. At the start of this year Anthony Yarde gave Beterbiev one of his toughest assignments pushing the champion as hard as he could before succumbing to the Russian’s thudding shots in the eighth frame.