Artur Beterbiev vs Anthony Yarde winner must face Smith or Bivol

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The WBC’s annual convention is underway, and a number of kind souls are bringing us constant updates. Highlights so far include the WBC remembering their forgotten pledge to take Russian and Belarusian fighters out of their rankings, female champions pushing for three-minute rounds and getting mocked with specious reasoning and pre-suffrage levels of misogyny, and a bunch of fighters’ reps pleading their cases for higher rankings.

There was one meaningful revelation, though, and that’s that whoever wins between Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yarde in their planned January clash must then face mandatory challenger Callum Smith if an undisputed clash with Dmitry Bivol fails to develop.

Yarde (22-2, 21 KO) is the WBO mandatory and the IBF won’t have a top contender until after Jean Pascal and Michael Eifert duke it out, so “Mundo” (29-1, 21 KO) gets the call. Smith is 2-0 since moving up from 168, brutally stopping the historically durable Lenin Castillo and European champ Mathieu Bauderlique in a combined six rounds.

Bivol is obviously the far more desirable foe, but Smith would be an entertaining opponent for any of the three men he could end up facing.

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