Artur Beterbiev’s Fight With Callum Smith Postponed

Unified IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev has a bone infection in his jaw, making it necessary to postpone his title defense against his WBC mandatory Callum Smith. The fight will be rescheduled for a later date.

Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) and Callum (29-1, 21 KOs) had previously been scheduled to fight on August 19th at Videotron Centre in Quebec City, Canada. However, Beterbiev, 38, needed jaw surgery, making it impossible to defend his titles on that date.

The new date for the Beterbiev vs. Smith fight will be announced later by both fighters’ promoters.

Beterbiev is coming off of a hard-fought eighth round knockout victory over Anthony Yarde last January in London. Yarde gave Beterbiev problems for seven rounds before he figured him out and stopped him in round eight.

Callum Smith is arguably a step down for Beterbiev from Yarde, as he lacks hand speed and is uncomfortable when dealing with any kind of pressure.

When Smith is pressured, he always retreats to the ropes and covers up. It’s a habit that he’s had his entire career, and it was still there in his last fight against little-known Mathieu Bauderlique. It’s like Smith has a sparring partner mindset for some reason, which makes him vulnerable when facing quality opposition.

British fans boxing fans have been looking forward to this clash, as the 33-year-old Callum has a large fan base in Liverpool, but not so much outside of the UK, where he’s primarily viewed as the guy that Canelo Alvarez beat the stuffing out of in a one-sided twelve round unanimous decision victory in December 2020.

The 6’3″ stork-like Smith looked like a sparring partner in his fight with Canelo, resting his back against the ropes, covering up while being shelled nonstop for twelve rounds.

It was hard to watch because Smith looked like he didn’t belong in the ring with Canelo, and it was hard to believe that he came into the contest as the WBA super middleweight champion, who some boxing fans thought was the #1 fighter at 168.

Many of them had formed their high opinions of Smith after his win over George Groves in 2018, but they failed to take in the fact that he was a guy coming off a bad shoulder injury and fighting with just one arm.

That was arguably Callum Smith’s second career defeat because, in his previous fight, he’d won a controversial twelve round unanimous decision over John Ryder in November 2019.

The fight took place in Smith’s hometown of Liverpool, and many boxing fans saw it as a robbery, with Callum getting a gift from the judges while fighting at home.

Promoted by Matchroom Boxing, Smith was guided to the WBC mandatory position that he now occupies by defeating fringe contenders Lenins Castillo and Mathieu Bauderlique.

Smith had the WBC mandatory spot arguably given to him on a silver platter without having to work for it by defeating quality opposition, such as Joshua Buatsi, Craig Richards, Dan Azeez, or Anthony Yarde.

The light heavyweight division is entirely barren of talented or popular fighters once you get beyond the two top guys, Beterbiev & Dmitry Bivol. Hence, it’s the ideal weight class for fighters that cannot compete at 168, which is ruled by Canelo, David Benavidez & David Morrell Jr.

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