The fight was initially set to go ahead on August 19th, 2023, only for Beterbiev to pull out. The Russian contracted a bone infection in his jaw after undergoing root canal treatment in Russia.
However, after returning to Canada, the champion discovered that something was not right. And as it hindered his training, there was no way of the fight going ahead.
🥊 ANNOUNCED: Artur Beterbiev will defend his WBC, IBF & WBO light-heavyweight world titles vs Callum Smith on Jan 13th in Quebec City, Canada.
— Michael Benson (@MichaelBensonn) August 8, 2023
The initial diagnosis was that Beterbiev’s return at the earliest would be sometime in November, or a fight in the New Year.
And now that has been officially confirmed by Bob Arum.
“It’s a few months later than originally planned, but I am thrilled that Artur Beterbiev will have a chance to defend his titles in front of the incredible Quebec City fans.
“Artur has a clean bill of health, and I know Callum, a supremely talented former champion, will be at his best on January 13th.
I’m very pleased that the camps came to an agreement quickly, so we can go ahead with this light heavyweight championship super fight,” said Eye of the Tiger president Camille Estephan. “It’s going to heat up this January in Quebec City,” Arum