As reported by ESPN, the unified light heavyweight champion has picked up an injury and is now slated for a return in early 2023.
Beterbiev, who has racked up 18 knockouts in 18 fights, had been preparing to fight Anthony Yarde in London later this year. This injury, of which the nature is unknown, moves that title fight into next year with both promoters (Top Rank and Queensbury) still onboard.
Bob Arum, who promotes Beterbiev, told FightHype last month that the planning for the fight was going well.
“No, we’re talking to Beterbiev, and have a date at the end of October in the UK against Yarde.”
“I think Frank Warren is holding the O2 in London and Beterbiev has been on vacation.”
“His lawyer has been on vacation, but next week, we’re scheduled to talk to him, and hopefully, we’ll finalise that fight.”
The Canadian Russian fighter most recently added to his world titles with a second-round stoppage victory over Joe Smith Jr. Now 37, fans will be wary of this postponement and eager to see an explosive fighter as many times as they can before retirement.
Yarde, who fell short in his previous world title challenge against Sergey Kovalev, is coming off a win over fellow Brit, Lyndon Arthur. ‘The Beast from the East’ may take a tune-up fight before the year’s out whilst waiting for a fully-fit Beterbiev and a chance at his belts.
The winner of the fight, likely targeted for the first half of 2023, would surely look to fellow light heavyweight champion, Dmitry Bivol. Bivol put in a measured performance to beat Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez earlier this year to hold onto his WBA title, and is the last step towards unification in the division.