It looks like Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith is being planned for the fall.
Beterbiev and Smith are both light-heavyweight champions. Beterbiev is the WBC and IBF titleholder, while Smith holds the WBO gold. It’s the ideal situation for Top Rank Boxing, as both men compete under the banner.
Top Rank boss Bob Arum told TASS that a champion vs. champion match between Beterbiev and Smith is being penciled in for the fall. The goal is to get the fight to take place inside Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Back in February, Arum told Boxing Scene that he believes Beterbiev vs. Smith would sell out MSG.
“You’d sell out The Garden easy with a Smith-Beterbiev fight. That’d be a great fight. They’re both big punchers, tough guys. It’d be a fun fight. A Beterbiev fight with Joe Smith would be a guaranteed sellout at Madison Square Garden. Joe has a lot of fans [from Long Island], and all these union people that support him. And there are a lot of Russian people in New York. And then, as the icing on the cake, you put Berlanga on the undercard.”
Beterbiev is coming off a successful title defense against Adam Deines. Smith captured the WBO gold when he defeated Maxim Vlasov in his last outing.