The IBF, WBC & WBO champion squares off against his mandatory, Smith, on August 17th, 2023. Victory would keep his hopes alive of becoming undisputed, with Dmitry Bivol holding the final WBA belt.
However, the latter has expressed his dissatisfaction with the WBC’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian boxers from competing for its title due to Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine.
As such, the WBC has stated that a fight between Beterbiev and Bivol won’t happen in a normal capacity until the war is over, which means the WBC belt would not be on the line.
Therefore, a fight with Canelo or Benavidez would make sense from a legacy and financial point of view.
“Beterbiev would love to fight Canelo or Benavidez. Once it comes out that an organization has taken a stand, which is based on principle, that they don’t want a Russian national fighting for a title, I salute that.
“Because I am completely dedicated to Ukraine and Ukrainian people, and I’m not going to do anything to affect that determination. Benavidez is a really good fighter, and Canelo is a really good fighter,” Arum