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Artur Beterbiev will defend the Light Heavyweight Titles vs. Callum Smith on August 19th

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Ben Baby, ESPNMay 25, 2023, 1:35 p.m. ETReading: 3 minutes.

Phenomenon Artur Beterbiev seeks to crush Yarde and pursue Bivol

While Artur Beterbiev continues to eliminate Father Time, he looks to eliminate the dangerous Anthony Yarde and then pursue a four-title unification battle with Dmitrii Bivol.

The former world champion will be the last to test one of the sport’s finest boxers.

Unified heavyweight champion Artur Petriev will defend his titles against Callum Smith, the top rank’s promotions announced Thursday. Peterbiev will face the former middleweight champion on August 19 in Quebec City, where he resides.

The Russian national is currently ranked number one on ESPN’s light heavyweight and heavyweight rankings and eighth on ESPN’s men’s heavyweight list. Beterbiev is looking for his 20th knockout in as many professional fights.

“Quebec is my second home, so I am very happy to defend my titles at home,” Peterbiev said in a statement.

The fight against Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) marks Peterbiev’s first title defense in Canada since 2021, when he knocked out Marcus Brown in Montreal to retain the IBF and WBC belts.

Since moving up to 175 pounds after losing 2020 to Canelo Alvarez, Smith has won his last two fights. Most recently, he stopped Englishman Mathieu Bauderlik on the card of Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua II last August.

In March, the WBC ordered Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) to face Smith in a mandatory title defense. Top Rank earned the right to promote the fight by placing a winning bid in April.

Many have called for a potential undisputed fight between Peterbiev and Bevol, the longtime WBA champion. However, the WBC adamantly opposed sanctioning Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) for his continued ties to Russia amid the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

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