Eddie Hearn has provided some insight on the postponement of Callum Smith’s shot at unified light heavyweight world champion, Artur Beterbiev.
Smith had been scheduled to take on WBC, WBO and IBF belt holder Beterbiev in Quebec on August 20, however the Russian withdrew from the contest earlier this week on doctors orders due to a dental injury.
And in an interview with IFL TV, Hearn revealed that he had been informed ‘King Artur’ would not be ready to face Smith until early 2024.
“We’re told that Beterbiev won’t be ready until January or February. Callum’s just done seven or eight weeks training, so he wants to fight ASAP.”
“Callum needs to fight before the end of September, because he’s not going to wait until January or February. That would be fifteen months out of the ring, and that’s not good a look going into fight someone like Artur Beterbiev.”
“So I would like to find a way to get Callum out and in a fight.”
Although Smith is no doubt frustrated at the delay, there is a view that it could be to his benefit as it means Beterbiev will be the ripe old age of 39 by the time they lock horns.
Smith will be the second Englishman Beterbiev has faced in as many fights, after he dispatched of WBO mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde at Wembley Arena earlier this year.
A staple in most pound for pound lists, the undefeated Beterbiev has knocked out all nineteen men to have shared a ring with him and beating him is regarded as one of the toughest tasks in the entire sport.