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Last Saturday night in London saw Wembley Arena lit up by 11 boxing bouts, the biggest of which featured light heavyweights Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde going to war.
A war is exactly what ensued in this headline fight, with both men getting stuck into each other through some heavy hitting. The result panned out exactly as we predicted however, and Beterbiev defended his WBC, WBO and IBF World Light Heavyweight titles. Now, the questions is: Who will Artur Beterbiev’s next fight be?
With 19 wins from 19 fights, rumours surrounding Artur Beterbiev’s next fight are already beginning to swirl. We look at some of his potential opponents below, and recap his most recent victory.
Beterbiev Wins War at Wembley
All of the expectation prior to this light heavyweight title fight was met when Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde began exchanging blows in the first round on Saturday night.
Britain’s Anthony Yarde looked better than he ever had, with excellent footwork and head movement. While Beterbiev was largely the aggressor, moving Yarde around the ring and dominating with his jab and combinations, Yarde had his moments too. On several occasions, he landed tidy uppercuts on Beterbiev, and showed the Russian that he meant business.
However, it was the fight IQ of Beterbiev that won out on the day, as the 38-year-old consistently found a way to work Yarde into the corner of the ropes and hurt him. After eight rounds of this, Beterbiev scored a knock down with a vicious hook. Shortly after, as he went in for the kill once Yarde was back on his feet, the Brit’s corner threw in the towel as the result became inevitable.
Artur Beterbiev Next Fight: Will a Bivol Clash Be Set?
With the eighth round technical knockout being ruled in Artur Beterbiev’s favour, the Russian completed his 19th finish from 19 fights, and his eighth title defense.
These kind of stats have swirled up questions around who could possibly step into the ring with Beterbiev, and one of those men is Dmitry Bivol. Bivol is the only other holder of a light heavyweight title, with the WBA belt in his possession.
Beterbiev has made his intentions clear, stating immediately after his win over Yarde, “I want Bivol. Right now, it’s everything. In that fight, we’ll have four belts. It’s a really good fight, I think.”
Bivol has also previously stated his desire for an undisputed fight against Artur Beterbiev.
Callum Smith Potential Artur Beterbiev Next Fight
The fight with Bivol may have to wait, however, as it seems as though Artur Beterbiev will be forced to fight against Callum Smith first.
At a November WBC convention, WBC President Maurico Sulaiman spoke out regarding Beterbiev, saying “I can guarantee the WBC board reviewed on Sunday – Callum Smith is the mandatory.”
Sulaiman went on to clarify, “He’s allowed to do an interim fight because Beterbiev is gonna do the WBO mandatory. The winner must fight Callum Smith. Smith is permitted to do a fight. However, if he loses that fight, he will lose his position as mandatory challenger.”
Britain’s Callum Smith has a 29-1-0 record, with his only loss coming to Canelo Alvarez in 2020.