Mandatory Challenger For Winner Of Artur Beterbiev Vs. Joe Smith Jr Already Decided
Whoever wins on June 18, promoter Frank Warren has already booked the next mandatory challenger for the winner of Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr.
And that WBO light heavyweight challenger would be Anthony Yarde, according to Warren. The fight is reportedly set for October 22.
“22nd of October. We’re right down the road with this with Top Rank,” Warren told iFL TV.
“…I spoke to Bob Arum about it only, and we want to do that fight. We booked a date and talked about it. The date is the 22nd of October, and we want to get that fight [Yarde against Beterbiev – Smith Jr. winner].
WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol indicated that he wants the undisputed title shot, especially after dismantling former No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer Canelo Alvarez earlier this month, but his promoter, Arum, said he wasn’t interested in Bivol taking on the winner of Beterbiev-Smith.
Instead, he wants Bivol to face Gilberto Ramirez. But Warren suggested some other opponents for Bivol before earning his undisputed title shot.
“The best thing is that it [Joshua Buatsi vs. Craig Richards] was an eliminator for the WBA title. Let Bivol fight Buatsi,” Warren added.
“Let those two get it on. If our man [Yarde] gets it on in October the 22nd with the winner of that fight [Beterbiev vs. Smith], and they [Bivol vs. Buatsi] both come through, what a fantastic fight.”
Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) is on a two-fight winning streak against Alex Theran in August and Lyndon Arthur in December – both by knockout.
Beterbiev will put his IBF and WBC light heavyweight titles on the line while Smith risks his WBO title on June 18 at the Hulu Theater.