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Bob Arum says Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith will be in August in Montreal or Quebec

Image: Bob Arum says Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith will be in August in Montreal or Quebec

By Charles Brun: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev will defend against Callum Smith in early August in French Canada in Montreal or Quebec.

Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) is the WBC mandatory for Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs), and the World Boxing Council has already ordered the fight. If not for that, Beterbiev would likely be battling WBA 175-lb champion Dmitry Bivol in the summer for the undisputed championship.

Fans have been clear that they would prefer to see Beterbiev fight Bivol next, not the 33-year-old Smith, who looked terrible in a one-sided loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2020.

“As far as where it’s going to be. It’s going to be in French Canada, whether Montreal or Quebec,” said Bob Arum to the Ringside Reporter about where the Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith fight will be staged. “It will be at the very beginning of August.”

The WBC set a low hurdle for the Eddie Hearn promoted Callum Smith to become Beterbiev’s mandatory by sanctioning a fight between him and France’s Mathieu Bauderlique as a title eliminator last August.

Bauderlique, 33, had been knocked out in eight rounds by a fighter named Dragan Lepei (22-6-2, 10 KOs) in 2017, which shows you his credentials for fighting in the WBC title eliminator against Callum.

Unsurprisingly, Smith obliterated Bauderlique in four rounds to earn the WBC mandatory position to challenge Beterbiev for his title.

It’s fair to say that boxing fans wouldn’t mind Smith being Beterbiev’s next opponent if he’d earned the shot by beating quality opposition and putting more distance between his loss to Canelo.

Smith has fought just twice since losing to Canelo, and his wins have come against less-than-stellar opposition.

Besides his win over Bauderlique, Smith beat journeyman Lenin Castillo (28-8-1, 19 KOs) by a second-round knockout in September 2021 in his only other fight at 175.

Some of Callum’s fans believe he has a shot at beating the 38-year-old Beterbiev due to his advancing age and how he struggled in his last title defense against Anthony Yarde in January. Yarde gave Beterbiev a good fight with his hand speed and power.

Once Beterbiev figured out that all Yarde had for him to worry about was an uppercut, he methodically broke him down until scoring an eighth-round knockout.

The referee stopped the fight prematurely after Beterbiev knocked down Yarde in round eight. However, with the punishment that Yarde had been taking for the last couple of rounds, the referee chose to stop it because Beterbiev would have finished him off if the fight had been allowed to continue.

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