Liverpool’s Callum Smith is on the verge of getting a shot to become a two-weight world champion, but, with the belts tied up for now, he needs to stay active.
The former super-middleweight champion, now campaigning at light heavyweight, has been named as mandatory challengers for Artur Beterbiev.
The Russian has a fight scheduled in with Anthony Yarde on January 28, and the winner will potentially look to enter undisputed negotiations with the division’s other champion, Dmitry Bivol, straight after.
So where does that leave Smith? The 29-1 fighter doesn’t want an easy touch while he waits. His promoter, Eddie Hearn revealed the date and location to BoxingScene.com, as well as a potential opponent.
“He will return March 11 in Liverpool, that much I can confirm. He’s gonna be mandated to fight the winner of Beterbiev and Yarde. There is the talk of a Buatsi fight, possibly. Regardless, we want him in with a world-ranked top fifteen fighter in Liverpool in March.”
Buatsi is another UK name who wants to be in the world title mix soon. He’s undefeated in a 16-fight career that some fans feel has progressed at a bit of a slow pace. A challenge against Smith would be the perfect measuring stick, and the winner would be deserving of a shot at one of the belts.
‘JB’ isn’t nailed on though, and there’s another local name being mentioned – Lyndon Arthur. Following his most recent victory – a second round stoppage over Joel McIntyre – Arthur told Boxing Social that there was potential in the match up.
“The whispers of Callum Smith are out there apparently. So we’ll see what the offers are and we’ll move forward. I’m excited for 2023.”
Eddie Hearn confirmed that ‘King’ Arthur was an option to iD Boxing, saying he would ‘love to make that fight’ but that conversations hadn’t progressed further with his promoters, Wasserman, than expressing initial interest.
Whoever ends up across the ring from Smith, all three name in the mix bodes well for a domestic light heavyweight scene with plenty of talent but not many fights between one another. Fans will hope 2023 is the year to change that.