They are on course to face each other for all the belts provided Beterbiev beats Callum Smith this Saturday. His preparation has suffered because of the controversy surrounding his VADA tests. Beterbiev’s blood and urine samples showed human growth hormone and 5D-androstanediol. These can occur in the body naturally, which is why VADA labelled them as ‘atypical.’ Further tests on Beterbiev came back negative, leaving him to fight Smith, who tested negative across the board. All that is left is for Beterbiev to win to secure the mega showdown in Saudi.
“When we did the deal in Saudi Arabia with His Excellency, the plan was for Dmitry Bivol to fight for the undisputed fight. A fight that they like is Beterbiev against Bivol. Obviously, they haven’t thought much about the Callum Smith fight because, in their mind, I think they believe Beterbiev will win on Saturday. From our point of view with Bivol, he’s already signed to fight Artur Beterbiev,” Hearn stated
Berterbiev must guard against complacency. Joseph Parker upset the odds to beat Deontay Wilder, who had also signed for a fight with Anthony Joshua. Smith’s only loss was against Canelo Alvarez at 168 pounds. He has moved to 175 pounds since that defeat, stopping his last two opponents. Smith is focused on upsetting the odds, and it appears he has gotten into Beterbiev’s head.
The Russian has responded to his ‘atypical’ VADA tests by taking shots at Smith after suggestions the Brit was ready to disclose his concerns about the testing results. Beterbiev felt his opponent was finding reasons to justify a defeat before the fight had begun. He made it clear he passed all his tests, showing he was a clean fighter.
“It has come to my attention that Callum intends to disseminate misleading information about my VADA testing program for this fight. Let me be clear now: I am a clean athlete. I have never tested positive for a banned substance throughout my amateur and professional career and I complied with all VADA requirements and protocols during the build-up to this fight.
“Any attempt to imply otherwise, through innuendo or suggestion is slanderous and libelous. This conduct is beyond acceptable trash talk in combat sports. Callum is already searching for excuses, looking for a way out. See you Saturday,” Beterbiev added