Artur Beterbiev And Joe Smith Jr. Are Nearing An Agreement For A Unification Bout!
According to a report by ESPN, a deal is very close to being finalized between unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17KOs) and WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. (28-3, 22KOs). Reportedly, the only thing holding up the deal is Smith’s wanting more money than the $1.5 million being offered.
Both champions are coming off stoppage wins. Back in December, Beterbiev stopped WBC mandatory challenger Marcus Browne in nine rounds. While he didn’t call anyone out in the aftermath, it’s widely known that he wants to face Smith, WBA champion Dimitry Bivol and undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez.
As for Smith, he’s coming off a ninth-round knockout victory over Steve Geffrard to defend his WBO title. Originally set to face mandatory challenger Callum Johnson, that fight was postponed due to Johnson contracting COVID-19. Smith, who’s been linked to a potential bout with Canelo Alvarez, made it clear that his main focus is on becoming undisputed at light heavyweight. He did, however, let it be known that he was more than willing and ready to face Alvarez.
It seems now that Smith will get his wish. This battle will be power vs power and will vs will. Beterbiev will head into this bout as the favorite but, at 37 years old and facing a younger and equally strong fighter in Smith, fans should expect a firefight between these two, which is highly unlikely to go the distance.
The winner puts themselves one fight away from being the undisputed light heavyweight champion.
Reading Time: 2 minutes
By: Jerrell Fletcher