Top Rank are preparing to stage the fight between Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith in Quebec City in early August.
The influential promoters outbid Smith’s promoters Matchroom by $15,000 when bidding a total of $2.115m to earn the right to stage the fight for Beterbiev’s IBF, WBO and WBO light heavyweight titles, and will bring Beterbiev – the Russian who fights out of Canada – back to Quebec City for the first time since 2015.
Smith, 33, will be fighting for the third time at light heavyweight and since replacing his trainer Joe Gallagher with Buddy McGirt. He also represents the 38-year-old Beterbiev’s second successive British opponent, following his entertaining stoppage, in January, of Anthony Yarde.
“That’s going to be in Quebec in early August,” Top Rank’s Bob Arum told ProBox TV. “We have a beautiful arena we’re putting it in in Quebec – we’ve already secured the arena – we’re ready to go, and we’re sending out all the papers. I don’t know exactly what the date is but he’ll be fighting Beterbiev in Quebec City in August.
“It’s a tremendous fight. But I was always relieved that whoever won the purse bid, the fight would happen. We won it – barely – and so we’re going to do it on ESPN. But Eddie put a good bid in, and he lost by, I think, $15,000, but the fight is the fight, and it will be a really splendid fight. These are two great professionals, and I’m looking for a very competitive match.”
The Montreal-based Beterbiev last fought in Canada in December 2021, when he stopped Marcus Browne. Gabriel Campillo was his opponent on the occasion of his previous fight in Quebec City.
“All of these light heavyweights who can crack – who can punch – are dangerous,” Arum said. “Beterbiev is not recognised as a good boxer, but he is, and he punches like a mule, so the only way you can beat him is if he’s fighting a guy with equal power, who can hurt him. Can Smith hurt him? I don’t know. We’ll see.”