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Who is the No. 1 boxer in the light heavyweight division?

With Artur Beterbiev facing Joe Smith Jr. this Saturday, we examine the state of the light heavyweight division.

Boxing night in Moscow Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) will be looking to keep his perfect record intact in a light heavyweight unification bout against gritty, hard-punching American Joe Smith Jr. (28-3, 22 KOs) on Saturday, June 18. Beterbiev will be putting up his IBF and WBC light heavyweight titles against Smith’s WBO light heavyweight title at the Hulu Theather at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Live coverage of the fight will be on ESPN and ESPN+. The prelims and undercard bouts will start at 6 p.m. on ESPN+. The main network will take over for main event at 10 p.m. Beterbiev is currently a -700 favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook and at -295 to win the fight by knockout. Smith Jr. is a significant underdog at +475.

The 37-year-old Beterbiev is considered the No. 1 light heavyweight in the world today by ESPN. He is rated No. 2 in the division behind undefeated Russian Dmitri Bivol by Ring Magazine and BoxRec. Bivol recently defeated Canelo Alvarez to successfully defend his WBA light heavyweight title. Smith Jr. remains a top-five ranked light heavyweight across the board. He is ranked as the No. 3 light heavyweight by BoxRec and Ring Magazine.

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