Top Rank Will Give The Unified Champion Home Advantage As Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith Heads To ‘French Canada’
Bob Arum’s Top Rank outbid Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing to win the promotional rights to stage the WBC mandatory title defense between the former world super middleweight champion, Liverpool’s Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) and reigning unified light heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs).
Top Rank, who represent Beterbiev, bid $2,115,000 which was 15,000 higher than the $2,100,000 offered by Smith’s promoter Matchroom.
Arum has now revealed to Ringside Reporter Live that his plan is to stage Beterbiev vs Smith in French Canada either in Montreal or Quebec with the date being ‘very early August’. Due to the 90-day rule of the purse bids, the fight is expected to be on August 5.
The Liverpudlian Smith stopped France’s WBC #2 Mathieu Bauderlique in a final eliminator on the Usyk-Joshua 2 undercard to earn his shot.
Smith is confident that he can pull off the upset, telling Sky Sports that he sees vulnerabilities in the Canadian-Russian. “I’ve seen other fighters hurt him and put him over, I fully believe I can. I’m in my peak years now and the time to beat him is now.”
Beterbiev stopped Anthony Yarde in London earlier this year to defend his three belts and is looking for an undisputed bout against Dmitry Bivol but a far more lucrative rematch with Canelo Alvarez and the WBC’s refusal to sanction an undisputed bout with Bivol has created difficulties.
An IBF mandatory in the form of Michael Eifert will also be due for Beterbiev either later this year or early next year. Bivol is expected to pursue a rematch with Canelo, who defends his undisputed titles tonight in Mexico, in September.