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WBC Formally Orders Beterbiev vs Smith
Unified (WBC, WBO & IBF) world light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev has been ordered to face his mandatory challenger, Callum Smith. The WBC has ordered the contest following Beterbiev’s successful title defence against Anthony Yarde in January in London, who claimed an eighth-round stoppage. The respective teams of Beterbiev (Top Rank) & Smith (Matchroom Boxing) have until April 11th to agree on terms. If terms cannot be agreed upon, then purse bids will be called as is standard practice. Callum Smith, former WBA, WBC Diamond, Ring Magazine and WBSS winner at 168lbs, was recently forced to withdraw from his anticipated ring return on March 11th due to injury. Despite this, it has not stopped Eddie Hearn of Matchroom from talking up the contest between Betrbiev and Smith in recent days. Smith earned his mandatory position in August of last year in Saudi Arabia, defeating Mathieu Bauderlique in four rounds. Smith is unbeaten in two fights at 175lbs following his defeat to Canelo Alvarez in December of 2020, losing a unanimous decision. Beterbiev has held at least one version of the light-heavyweight world titles since 2017. Firstly defeating Enrico Koeling in 2017 to claim the IBF, defeating Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2019 and lastly, defeating Joe Smith Jr in June of last year. Beterbiev holds an undefeated record of nineteen wins, all coming inside the distance. Smith, meanwhile, holds a record of twenty-nine wins against one loss.