The World Boxing Council has confirmed that Top Rank has won the purse bid to control the promotional rights between its unified world light-heavyweight champion, Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19KOs) and mandatory challenger Callum Smith (29-1, 21KOs), the former WBA & Ring magazine middleweight champion.
Top Rank had won the rights to the contest with a winning bid of $2,115,000 compared to Matchroom Boxing’s bid of $2,100,000, with the purse bid being conducted in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Under WBC’s rules, Beterbiev has a 70% entitlement of 90% of the purse agreed with Smith entitled to 30% of 90% of the purse. The winner of the contest will receive the remaining 10% of the purse as a winner’s bonus. The WBC has adopted this ruling in recent years. $211,500 is the remaining sum to whoever claims victory on a date and venue that has yet to be decided.
It is almost certain that the U.S. broadcasting rights will be shown on ESPN, the primary broadcasting rights holder Top Rank’s promotions and events within the United States.
Prior to the purse bid, attempts between Beterbiev’s co-promoters, Top Rank and Group Y’Von Michel (GYM), alongside Smith’s promoter, Matchroom Boxing, had failed to agree to a deal to avoid a purse bid scenario.
Montreal-based Russian, Beterbiev, owns the WBO and IBF world light-heavyweight titles alongside the WBC crown. Beterbiev was last in action on January 28th in London with a clinical stoppage of Anthony Yarde inside eight rounds.
Smith became the mandatory challenger for Beterbiev last August by defeating Mathieu Bauderlique in Saudi Arabia as part of the supporting cast to Oleksandr Usyk’s obligated rematch against Anthony Joshua. Smith would defeat inside four rounds to solidify his number one ranking. Smith is a recent addition to the 175lb weight class following his 2020 defeat to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. The loss to Canelo remains Smith’s only blemish on his record. Smith first made his introduction to the light-heavyweight division in September of 2020 against Gilbert Castillo