WBC Clarifies Artur Beterbiev’s Mandatory Obligation Status

The WBC have clarified the position of unified light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev’s mandatory obligations at the WBC convention taking place in Mexico. WBC president, Maurcio Sulaiman confirmed that Beterbiev will have to face his mandatory challenger Callum Smith following Beterbiev’s unified title defence against Anthony Yarde which is reportedly to take place on January 28th in London. Smith will be able to take an interim fight in the meantime and if he was to lose then Smith would lose his mandatory challenger status. However a undisputed title fight with Dimitry Bivol could further delay Smith’s mandatory challenge even further.

Callum Smith has had back to back wins following his defeat to Canelo Alvarez in December 2020 and is the current WBC silver title holder at 175lbs.

“I can guarantee the WBC board reviewed on Sunday – Callum Smith is the mandatory,” Sulaiman said. “He’s allowed to do a interim fight because Beterbiev is gonna do the WBO mandatory. The winner must fight Callum Smith. Smith is permitted to do a fight. However, if he loses that fight, he will lose his position as mandatory challenger.”

“After Beterbiev [participates in a] unification [fight],” Sulaiman said, “the winner must fight Smith.”