BOXING NEWS understands that the next defence of Artur Beterbiev’s light-heavyweight championship has been postponed.

The Russian-born Canadian resident was due to face Callum Smith on August 19 at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City.

Beterbiev 19-0 (19) is believed to have suffered a dental injury but further details of that and a rearranged date were unavailable at time of writing. BN reached out to Smith’s team for comment but received no response.

The news strikes a small blow in a largely positive boxing schedule so far in 2023. Last night at the T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas the theme of big fights continued when Terence Crawford dominated Errol Spence Jr to become welterweight champion.

Beterbiev, 38, has already faced British opposition this year having travelled to London in January to defeat Anthony Yarde. Their back-and-forth battle was a thrilling contest with the challenger going toe-to-toe with one of the most fearsome fighters in the sport. Beterbiev’s hurtful punching eventually took its toll on Yarde and in the eighth round the fight was stopped by the Brit’s corner.

Smith 29-1 (21) was to be the third British challenger to face Beterbiev with not only Yarde but Callum Johnson beaten by the unbeaten champion in 2018.

Having won world honours at super-middleweight Smith, 33, moved up to light-heavy following his defeat to Canelo Alvarez three years ago. At his new weight the Liverpudlian has demonstrated his thudding power with early wins over Gilberto Castillo Rivera and Mathieu Bauderlique, respectively.

Edit: At 8.46pm UK time on July 30 Beterbiev’s co-promoter Top Rank confirmed via Twitter that the fight has been postponed due to a bone infection to the champion’s jaw. A rescheduled date will be announced soon.