Callum Smith’s hopes of getting an opportunity to fight for a World Light Heavyweight title have taken a step closer.
The World Boxing Council (WBC) announced an elimination bout between their number one contender, Smith, and the number two ranked Mathieu Bauderlique from France. The purse bid ceremony will take place on Friday, July 1.
Smith v Bauderlique has been in the rumour mill lately and is being looked at for the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua 2 undercard on August 20 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn also represents Smith and will be confident of winning the bid to stage the fight. The Matchroom boss works with Bauderlique’s handlers ‘Opi Since 82’ to stage co-promotions in Italy.
Smith, 32, is aiming to become a two-weight world champion after winning the WBA Super Middleweight title four years ago in the World Boxing Super Series Final knocking out George Groves in the seventh round.
After two defences the Liverpudlian lost the title to Canelo Alvarez on points 18 months ago and decided to take his six-foot three frame up to 175lbs. His Light Heavy debut kicked off with a chilling second round win over Lenin Castillo last year on the Joshua-Usyk 1 card in London.
Bauderlique, a 32-year-old southpaw, has won nine fights in a row since being stopped in the first round of an eight-round bout against Dragan Lepei five years ago. Last time out the 2016 Olympian won the European Light Heavyweight title beating Igor Mikhalkin (who fights Callum Johnson this Saturday) after the Russian suffered a broken jaw in round two and then retired in the seventh.
Artur Beterbiev is the reigning WBC champion and also holds the IBF and WBO titles after destroying Joe Smith Jr in two rounds 11 days ago.