By Jim Calfa: Unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev has suffered an unspecified injury training for his October 29th fight against WBO mandatory Anthony Yarde.
Unfortunately, the injury for the unbeaten Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) means his fight against Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) will need to be postponed until the first quarter of 2023, according to ESPN.
There hasn’t been much interest in the Beterbiev-Yarde fight from U.S boxing fans, so they probably won’t take much notice of the fight being delayed until early next year. It’s a mismatch on paper and an easy payday for Beterbiev.
People want to see Beterbiev face WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed light heavyweight championship. But for some reason, Beterbiev’s promoter Bob Arum isn’t in a rush to make that fight.
It’s believed that the WBO mandatory isn’t due yet for Beterbiev, so he could have fought Bivol next instead of wasting time by fighting Yarde, who is arguably a British domestic-level fighter at best.
“Artur Beterbiev is injured, a source told ESPN, and the planned Oct. 29 defense of his three light heavyweight titles against Anthony Yarde has been postponed. The nature of the injury wasn’t disclosed,” said Mike Coppinger of ESPN.
“The matchup was slated to take place at London’s O2 Arena after a deal was agreed to, and the plan is for the fight to be rescheduled in early 2023, the source said.”
Yarde, 31, recently avenged his loss to Lyndon Arthur, stopping him in the fourth round in their rematch last December. In 2020, Yarde had lost to Lyndon by a 12 round split decision.
Yarde’s other defeat came at the hands of former WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev, who stopped him in the 11th round in 2019.
Beterbiev is coming off an impressive second round knockout win over WBO champion Joe Smith Jr in a unification fight last June at Madison Square Garden in New York. The fight was supposed to have been a competitive one, but Beterbiev blasted Smith out with no problems.
Before that, Beterbiev defeated Marcus Browne by a ninth round knockout in December 2021 in a fight that was a blood bath.
It’s important that Top Rank let Beterbiev face Bivol soon for the undisputed because he’s not getting any younger. At 37, Beterbiev doesn’t have a lot of time left in his career.