Russian unified light heavyweight champ Artur Beterbiev is injured and his proposed title fight with England’s Anthony Yarde for later this year will have to wait.
That’s according to a report by Boxingsecne.com’s Jake Donovan on Thursday afternoon. He’s learned that the unbeaten three belt holder Beterbiev’s undisclosed injury is significant enough to halt training for the short term and it means Yarde is looking for another opponent, too.
— BoxingScene.com (@boxingscene) August 18, 2022
“BoxingScene.com has learned that plans are now on hold for the lineal/WBC/IBF/WBO light heavyweight champion to defend against England’s Anthony Yarde. An undisclosed injury suffered by Beterbiev forced the previously agreed-upon WBO mandatory title fight—eyed for late October—to be pushed back until early 2023.
IFL TV reports that Yarde (22-2, 21KOs) will likely take a stay-busy fight in November, according to Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren whose Queensberry Promotions was to present the event from London.”
Beterbiev, 18-0, 18 KOs, was last in the ring in June, when he destroyed American Joe Smith via a second round KO to add the WBO world title to his WBC/IBF hardware.
As for Yarde, he’s 22-2, 21 KOs and previously lost in a world title challenge in Russia to Sergey Kovalev in 2019. The Beterbiev-Yarde bout was being discussed in the immediate aftermath of Beterbiev’s victory over Smith. This, as Yarde was in attendance at New York’s Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. Beterbiev is co-promoted by Top Rank Boxing and they have a deal with Yarde’s promoter Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions.
Bob Arum of Top Rank and Warren both made clear that June night that Beterbiev would be fine with fighting Yarde in England in front of what would be a large crowd of his partisan fans. Now, that will apparently have to wait.
This will also stymie the time line for a possible undisputed bout with WBA champ, and fellow Russian, Dmitry Bivol. The unbeaten Bivol is being forced by his organization to fight his mandatory challenger, Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez next with a tentative date of late this year or he’ll have to vacate his belt. Biviol also wants his lucrative rematch with Canelo Alvarez in the first half of 2023 after beating the future hall of famer in a tremendous 12 round decision win.
Now, we wait for more on how long Beterbiev is sidelined.