Unified, WBC/WBO/IBF light heavyweight champ Artur Beterbiev has been in negotiations for a possible undisputed 175 lb. title shot with WBA champ and fellow Russian, Dmitry Bivol. On Tuesday afternoon, the World Boxing Council made clear that they want Beterbiev to their mandatory challenger first and they’ve awarded the purse bid to the bout to Top Rank Boxing.
The WBC made the announcement of the winning bid over just over $2 million dollars topped Matchroom Boxing for rights to the proposed bout,
— World Boxing Council (@WBCBoxing) May 2, 2023
From the WBC statement,
“Top Rank Boxing has won the rights to promote the mandatory light heavyweight fight between champion Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith with $2 115 000 outbidding Matchroom by a mere 15 thousand dollars!
Shawn Palmer was present and Carl Moretti on zoom.
The winner of the fight will win the 10% bonus which is an innovation by the WBC to add incentives to the winner of the fight.”
Our Dan Rafael reported that Top Rank’s bid was just $15,000 more than the Matchroom Boxing’s attempt to garner the fight with the prominent English light heavyweight. And further, that Top Rank intends to have the bout in Beterbiev’s adopted home in the Canadian province of Quebec either in Quebec City or Montreal later this Summer.
The 38 year old Beterbiev, 19-0, 19 KOs, is entitled to 70% of the winning bid or approximately $1.33 million of the purse. That’s provided that that both sides agree to follow through and sign for the bout.
Smith 29-1 is a former super middleweight champ, who’s only career loss is to Canelo Alvarez in December of 2020.
Previously, on our “Fight Freaks Unite Podcast” in April, Bivol and his manager/advisor Vadim Kornilov confirmed that they had been negotiating with Beterbiev and his management about a possible undisputed battle for this Summer. Hear that conversation by clicking below,
But as Kornilov told Dan Rafael,
“There were some discussions about making the fight about a month ago (March). They were talking to me about making the fight in June/July, whether it was going to be in the UAE or in the U.S. The numbers that were brought up…..were just not materializing. There’s still two sides to that fight. They’re both still pound for pound fighters. They both want to make money and they both want this fight to be worth their while. What was being talked about in June/July was just not at the level of the fight.”
So, now we wait to see if Beterbiev and Smith agree to what Top Rank has in mind for later this Summer and it’s likely Bivol will wait for a much more lucrative rematch with Canelo, whom he defeated in May of last year, potentially this September.