Matchroom Boxing’s Eddie Hearn and Star Boxing’s Joe DeGuardia met on Friday to discuss a potential Artur Beterbiev vs Joe Smith Jr fight for February on DAZN, ESPN reports, which would see Beterbiev defending his IBF light heavyweight title.
The fight would happen on Feb. 22 or 23.
Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KO) is coming off of an Oct. 6 knockout of Callum Johnson in Chicago, a fight that only lasted four rounds but had plenty of action. The 33-year-old Beterbiev won the IBF title in Nov. 2017, claiming the vacant strap with a victory over Germany’s Enrico Koelling.
Smith (24-2, 20 KO) is a dangerous puncher who could do nothing the rest of his career and always go down in the history books as the man who knocked the legendary Bernard Hopkins out of the ring and out of the sport in Dec. 2016. His follow-up bout was a loss to Sullivan Barrera in 2017, and he returned to action this past June with a tune-up win over club fighter Melvin Russell.
Personally, I love this matchup, as I think there’s massive potential for fireworks in a fight that could go the way of the man who lands the first really big punch.