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Bob Arum confirms Artur Beterbiev to fight Anthony Yarde in London next

Image: Bob Arum confirms Artur Beterbiev to fight Anthony Yarde in London next

By Sean Jones: Top Rank boss Bob Arum has confirmed that IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev will be facing Anthony Yarde next in the fall in London, England.

As such, Arum says that he has hope” the undisputed 175-lb championship can happen in early 2023.

Beterbiev inherited the Yarde as his mandatory challenger when he defeated WBO 175-lb champion Joe Smith Jr. last weekend at Madison Square Garden in New York. If Beterbiev had lost that fight, Smith would be defending against Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) next.

U.S boxing fans have very little interest in seeing Beterbiev defend against Yarde, as they want to see the undisputed light heavyweight championship between Dmitry Bivol rather than the little-known British fighter, who a shopworn Sergey Kovalev blew out in 2019.

Despite what Arum says about an undisputed fight happening early next year, that’s unlikely to happen because Canelo Alvarez has a rematch clause with Bivol, and it’s already being talked about that he intends on facing him early next year in May.

The earliest we could see a fight between Beterbiev and Bivol is the summer or the fall of 2023. That’s if Arum is willing to make that fight because it doesn’t sound like he’s eager to make it.

One thing boxing fans have in their favor is that Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) wants the Bivol clash, and it would be a bad idea for Arum not to give him what he wants.

If Beterbiev beats Bivol, his popularity will skyrocket, and it might lead to a clash against Canelo.

Arum needs to look at it from that angle rather than focusing on the network headache or other reasons he might have for not wanting to make the Beterbiev vs. Bivol fight.

Working with Eddie Hearn, the promoter for Bivol, is likely something Arum isn’t looking forward to doing.

“If he [Beterbiev] wants to fight Bivol, he’s got to vacate the WBO title,” said promoter Frank Warren to iFL TV, reacting to being told that Artur Beterbiev wants to face WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol next, not Yarde.

“Yeah, I spoke to Bob [Arum] about that fight, and we’re going to do it,” said Warren about the Beterbiev vs. Yarde fight. “It’s a tough fight for Beterbiev as well because I think Anthony Yarde would have done the same thing to Joe Smith.”

If Yarde had earned the mandatory spot by beating quality fighters, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but his best career win is against Lyndon Arthur, and he looked horrible in his loss to a shot to pieces Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

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