Despite the ongoing legal issues, Artur Beterbiev has signed a contract to face Germany's Enrico Koelling in an IBF final eliminator, with July 29 in Quebec City as the working date and location.
As BoxingScene.com previously reported, Beterbiev filed documents with the court to break his promotional agreement with Yvon Michel of GYM.
Michel told outlets in Canada that a date and venue for Beterbiev-Koelling is not fully finalized as they are looking to see what works best for the television networks in the United States.
"Yes we are working to do that fight. Searching for the best timing for U.S. television," Michel stated.
Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs) confirmed that he signed a contract for the Koelling (23-1) eliminator, but also said he is still trying to become a free agent at the same time..
"I can't wait to get in the ring against such a great opponent," said Beterbiev. "Also, to avoid any confusion, the acceptance of this fight does not affect in any way the legal proceedings that are currently under way with GYM, which will follow its course separately."
Michel is legally fighting Beterbiev's move to get out of his contract. Michel also promotes two other two light heavyweights - WBC world champion Adonis Stevenson and undefeated Eleider Alvarez. Beterbiev moved from Russia to Canada and has spent his entire career with GYM. All three fighters - Beterbiev, Alvarez and Stevenson - are advised by Al Haymon.
Beterbiev claims that GYM failed to meet the contractual number of fights that were promised per year and also says the promoter has violated their agreement by not paying his purses within the ten days of his fights.
Should Beterbiev win his next contest, then he will become the mandatory challenger to current world champion Andre Ward - who defends his belt in a rematch with Sergey Kovalev on July 17th at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.