Artur Beterbiev vs Callum Smith purse bids
Top Rank Boxing has won the rights to promote the mandatory light heavyweight fight between champion Artur Beterbiev and challenger Callum Smith with $2,115, 000 outbidding Matchroom by just $15,000.
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.
The Beterbiev-Smith purse bids went down to the wire, with Top Rank outbidding Matchroom Boxing by just $15,000.
The unified world light-heavyweight champion will face WBC mandatory challenger Callum Smith in the next defence of his WBC, WBO, IBF, Ring Magazine titles.
Beterbiev’s promoters, Top Rank, outbid Smith’s backers, Matchroom Boxing, with a winning bid of $2.115m.
Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn had hoped to stage the fight in Liverpool but now his Scouse star Smith may have to travel to America or Canada to challenge the beast, Beterbiev, who is the only world champion with a 100% KO ratio.
Shaun Brown from Boxing News reacted to the fight news, "Artur Beterbiev v Callum Smith then. Last time the champion faced anyone at 6ft 3 was Radivoje Kalajdzic in 2019. Gvozdyk one fight later an inch smaller. Beterbiev is one of boxing's toughest tasks right now."
Beterbiev (19-0, 19KO) was only in the UK last January for his world title defence against Anthony Yarde in a thrilling affair which ended with an eighth-round stoppage win for the champ.
Fans had hoped that an undisputed fight between Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol would have materialised next, but the World Boxing Council will not allow Russian or Belarussian fighters to participate in any of their bouts because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
President Mauricio Sulaiman told ESPN, “This is absolutely sports-directed. There is no boxing in Ukraine because of the invasion. So as long as there’s no boxing in Ukraine, we cannot simply overlook and state that there’s boxing in Russia or Belarus from the WBC.”
Bivol and Beterbiev are both Russian, but the latter holds a Canadian passport, residency and boxing licence allowing him to continue defending their 175lbs title.
Former WBA super-middleweight champion Callum Smith (29-1, 21KO) will now go toe-to-toe with Beterbiev in an attempt to become a two-time champion. The Brit has scored two consecutive knockouts against Gilbert Castillo Rivera and Mathieu Bauderlique following his points defeat to Canelo in 2020.
Despite defeat to Canelo Alvarez, Beterbiev looks set to be Smith’s toughest assignment yet.
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