Having dispatched WBO obligatory challenger Anthony Yarde and together with his subsequent IBF contender not but decided, unified mild heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev’s subsequent task comes courtesy of the WBC, which has given him till April eleventh to return to phrases with Callum Smith.
Although each Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KO) and WBA champion Dmitry Bivol have made clear that they wish to sq. off for undisputed standing, that doesn’t look terribly promising in the mean time. Mauricio Sulaiman beforehand threatened to quash it as a consequence of Bivol, a California resident born in Kyrgyzstan, being Russian, and Eddie Hearn has been pushing laborious for Smith (29-1, 21 KO) to get his shot whereas Bivol settles issues with Canelo Alvarez later this yr.
Smith lately withdrew from a tune-up conflict with Pawel Stepien as a consequence of harm, however Hearn claims that it’ll solely hold him out of motion for “six to eight weeks.” Beterbiev will probably be observing Ramadan for the subsequent month, so the timing ought to work out.
To be clear, Beterbiev vs Smith is an interesting, probably explosive matchup. Smith has all the time been a keen slugger and his energy, if something, seems much more potent at 175 than it did at 168. It’s simply irritating to see probably the most blatantly apparent matchup within the division fall by the wayside, particularly when Beterbiev’s struggles with Anthony Yarde recommend that point could be operating out.