Joe Smith Promoter: We Expect Beterbiev Fight Next, Not Bivol

By Steve Kim

For the past month or so there was rampant speculation that Joe Smith would be challenging WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol on HBO in late November.

As Previously reported on, it looks like Smith will still be fighting for a 175-pound belt but it will be against IBF titlist Artur Beterbiev.

Joe DeGuardia, the head of Star Boxing, confirmed to on Monday - "Our plan is to fight for the championship by the end of the year and our target is Beterbiev."


As for the change in championship opponent, DeGuardia explained - "They're both good fights, they're both world championship fights and when all is said and done I think Beterbiev is going to get in the ring with Joe and defend his title against Joe. That's the hope and expectation that we'll get that done this year."

The date being brandied about is December 15th.

"I'll leave that to where it fits best for the network," said DeGuardia, who confirmed that this bout would be carried on DAZN.

So how did this go from Bivol (who is still scheduled to fight on HBO by the end of 2018) to Beterbiev?

"I think the winds of boxing change very often," said DeGuardia, chuckling at the turn of events.

"And look, a lot of things happen in the boxing world and we at one point in time were expecting to be on HBO against Bivol and then there was the potential it was going to be on DAZN against Beterbiev or Bivol or one of the world champions. But ultimately Beterbiev is who we're expecting to fight by the end of this year."

Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KO's) recently defended his title on October 6th by stopping Callum Johnson in four rounds in Chicago on a card that was streamed by DAZN.

Smith's most recent fight took place on June 30th where he knocked out Melvin Russell in one round. He had been out nearly a year after suffering a broken jaw versus Sullivan Barrera in the summer of 2017.

Steve Kim is the news editor for

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by PunchyPotorff on 10-16-2018

[QUOTE=Andre_parker1;19197836]joe smith better jump on beterbiev if he hurts him..but I think beterbiev will outbox and potentially stop him depending on the risk he's willing to take[/QUOTE] That's actually the best way for Smith Jr to handle Beterbiev. I'd actually…

Comment by PunchyPotorff on 10-16-2018

[QUOTE=Squ□redCircle34;19197637]Red Combo Cyclone Bivol dissects and stops Bazooka Joe later but Bazook Joe knocks out Beast from the Soviet East Beterbiev after being dropped and hurt himself in a thriller war! Both good fights[/QUOTE] Mama Mia! Mauro Ranallo? Is that…

Comment by ceylon mooney on 10-16-2018

[QUOTE=Squ□redCircle34;19197637]Red Combo Cyclone Bivol dissects and stops Bazooka Joe later but Bazook Joe knocks out Beast from the Soviet East Beterbiev after being dropped and hurt himself in a thriller war! Both good fights[/QUOTE] except for bivol by KO, that…

Comment by ceylon mooney on 10-16-2018

smith. very poss KO. beterbiev goes down like he did last fight smith finishes him for sure.

Comment by Boxing Logic on 10-16-2018

Why isn't it Beterbeiv vs Bivol? This is disappointing. At least Bivol vs Jack or Beterbiev vs Jack. These fights instead are bull****.

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