By Luke Furman
According to Yvon Michel, promoter for IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, the next fight for his boxer would take place on a date in December.
And the opponent is almost certain to be Joe Smith Jr.
Smith, who is best known for his career-ending knockout of Bernard Hopkins, is still being mentioned as the next opponent for WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol - but that fight has been staggering on the shelf since HBO announced their intention to walk away from boxing by the end of the year.
Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KOs) has just retained his title against the British banger Callum Johnson, on October 6th. In that contest, Beterbiev recovered from the second knockdown of his career to stop Johnson in the fourth round.
The fight with Smith (24-2, 20 KOs) would take place on December 15 or 22 at Madison Square Garden or Atlantic City.
"It is almost certain that Artur will fight against Joe Smith. What is less certain is when," said Michel to LA Presse.
"But one thing is certain, this next fight will take place in 2018."
What's interesting is Michel stating that Beterbiev vs. Bivol is a lock to be carried on DAZN - since Beterbiev is co-promoted by Eddie Hearn, who signed an exclusive eight year agreement with the streaming service.
The interesting piece of that information, is Beteriev-Smith potentially taking place on the Canelo vs. Rocky Fielding undercard on December 15 - if it takes place on that date - would mean DAZN is picking up the Canelo-Fielding event.
If DAZN fails to secure the Canelo-Fielding card, then Beterbiev-Smith would land on the date of December 22.
Canelo became a network free agent in September, after his contract with HBO expired.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org