Artur Beterbiev will be back in full training mode by the end of October, according to his trainer.
The unified WBC, WBO, IBF light heavyweight champion from Russia had to drop out of a scheduled mandatory defense in August against England’s Callum Smith after dental surgery led to a bone infection in his jaw.
The fight has been rescheduled to Jan. 13 at Videotron Centre in Quebec City on a Top Rank and Eye of the Tiger-promoted card.
Marc Ramsay, the head trainer of Beterbiev, said in a recent interview that Beterbiev would be back to “full contact” training by the end of October.
“Artur is doing very well. He has resumed training and should be OK to start full contact by the end of October,” Ramsay told Boxingscene.com.
“No frustration, this is part of our work ... now we are looking forward,” he added.
Beterbiev is coming off an eight-round stoppage over England’s Anthony Yarde in January at OVO Arena Wembley in London.
Beterbiev, 38, is regarded as one of boxing’ top finishers, having stopped all 19 of his opponents inside the distance. But there have been some concerns regarding his durability, as he has had fights delayed multiple times because of reported injuries.
Beterbiev suffered an undisclosed injury that delayed his fight with Yarde. Ramsay previously indicated that Beterbiev simply had routine surgery to clean out old tissue in his knee, calling it a “minor thing.”
The light heavyweight bruiser also suffered an injury ahead of a mandatory title defense against Adam Deines in 2021.
Ramsay brushed off any suggestion that Beterbiev might be impacted by the relatively long layoff.
“No ring rust concern … no excuses,” Ramsay said. “He still performs well and we are very confident with this fight.”
Boxing fans are hoping to see Beterbiev unify his three 175-pound belts against fellow Russian Dmitry Bivol, who holds the WBA belt, but that matchup has been plagued by real-world and promotional politics.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.