Timothy Bradley Jr.'s breakdown: Artur Beterbiev's power will be key; can Joe Smith Jr. avoid it?

Artur Beterbiev, left, faces Joe Smith Jr. on Saturday in the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN card in New York City. Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. meet on Saturday to unify three of the four major light heavyweight titles in the main event of a Top Rank card at the Hulu Theater inside Madison Square Garden in New York (ESPN/ESPN+, 10 p.m. ET, with prelims on ESPN+ at 6:30 p.m. ET).

Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) has finished all his opponents inside the distance, but in his last three fights he started slow, going nine rounds once and 10 rounds twice. He won the IBF title by defeating Enrico Koelling in 2017. He added the WBC belt with a 10th-round TKO victory over Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2019.

Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) won the WBO title with a majority decision victory over Maxim Vlasov in April 2021 and defended it successfully with a ninth-round KO victory over Steve Geffrard in January.

Can Smith keep Beterbiev at a distance and use his jab to upset Beterbiev's aggression? Or will Beterbiev's power and relentless attack be too much for Smith?

Former two-division champion and current ESPN boxing analyst Timothy Bradley Jr. breaks down the light heavyweight fight and picks the winner. ESPN betting analyst Ian Parker also provides his take.