Artur Beterbiev’s unified light heavyweight championship defense vs. Callum Smith has been rescheduled for Jan. 13 in Quebec City, promoter Top Rank announced on Tuesday.
Beterbiev, 38, was set to put his WBC, WBO and IBF 175-pound titles on the line vs. Smith on Aug. 19. However, the Russia native underwent dental surgery that led to jaw infection, postponing the matchup five months.
Now, Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) will return to his adopted hometown for an ESPN main event in the winter.
Beterbiev, ESPN’s No. 7 pound-for-pound boxer, is the sport’s only champion with a 100% knockout ratio. The Russia native is coming off a thrilling eighth-round TKO victory over Anthony Yarde in January in London.
Beterbiev is ESPN’s No. 2 boxer at 175 pounds. There’s heavy anticipation ahead of a potential undisputed light heavyweight title clash next year with Dmitry Bivol, ESPN’s No. 1 175-pounder. Beterbiev must first deal with Smith.
The 33-year-old Englishman is a former super middleweight champion. He won the World Boxing Super Series final vs. George Groves via seventh-round TKO in 2018 to establish himself as the top boxer at 168 pounds. Smith’s lone pro defeat came in 2020 vs. Canelo Alvarez in a rout.
His brother Liam Smith, a former junior middleweight titleholder, also lost to Alvarez in a championship defense.
Following the loss to Canelo, Smith (29-1, 21 KOs) moved up to 175 pounds. He’s fought twice at light heavyweight, stoppage wins inside four rounds vs. domestic-level opposition.