Joe Smith Jr wants Bivol after Beterbiev fight on June 18

By Craig Dally: Star Boxing promoter Joe DeGuardia says his fighter, WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr., will target a rematch against WBA champion Dmitry Bivol, or potentially Canelo Alvarez, if he wins. successfully defeated IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev in their unification clash on June 18.

Told that promoter Frank Warren had set Oct. 22 for his fighter Anthony Yarde to challenge the winner of the Beterbiev-Smith fight, DeGuardia said that was “premature.”

DeGuardia says the WBO has not designated the Beterbiev-Smith winner to fight Yarde. If Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) defeats Beterbiev, they will decide which way to go, whether it’s a rematch with Bivol or Beterbiev or possibly a clash with Canelo.

DeGuardia seemed unenthusiastic about having Smith fight Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) on Oct. 22 in the UK, as he likes the idea of ​​Joe competing in New York City at Madison Square Garden.

According to promoter Eddie Hearn, Bivol could face either Joshua Buatsi or Callum Smith in September or October. If Bivol wins, a rematch against Canelo is possible for May 2023.

“First of all, I don’t want to look beyond Beterbiev. This is a real challenge and we are focused on Beterbiev,” Joe Smith Jr promoter Joe DeGuardia told iFL TV when he was told that promoter Frank Warren had booked a venue in London on October 22 for the winner of Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr. to fight Anthony Yarde. He has been in talks with Top Rank about it.

“While it might be a little premature for me to think about the next fight. What Frank says is certainly premature,DeGuardia continued.

“Whatever conversations you may have, and I love Frank, and I’m sure he’s had everything he says he’s had. Once this fight [with Beterbiev] done and done, Joe Smith and I will get together and make decisions about what we think is next.

“I know Frank believes the WBO will order a [against Yarde] for Joe Smith, but that hasn’t happened yet. Lots of things can happen.

“Joe wins that fight on June 18; We’ll see where we go and what comes next. We certainly have a strong loyalty to the WBO because he [Smith Jr] he is the WBO champion, and we will certainly listen to whatever his position is.

“But right now, there has been no designation. It would be premature for Frank to say that because there hasn’t been a designation to that effect and in fact I think it pains him to try to make that claim and that Yarde should be. But he’s going to throw him and try to get his boy in there.

“From my perspective, we are going to look at the biggest fights out there. That’s what I’m going to do on June 19 if all goes well on June 18 for Joe Smith.

“Like anything else, money means a lot in this sport, but it also leaves a legacy, and Joe Smith wants to avenge that loss he had with Bivol.

“So that will influence and factor into our decision, as well as anyone else we might fight.

“Obviously there are a lot of things that have to happen with the WBO for that to happen. Also, I imagine that the WBO will also be a very reasonable body.

“They’re a sanctioning body, and I have a lot of respect for them, and I’m not so sure they’re going to arbitrarily say, ‘Okay, this is what you’re doing, this is who you are.’ struggle.’

“I think they will go through their processes to determine who is the mandatory challenger at that point because nothing happens until the fight is over, and then they will make the designation of who is the mandatory challenger.

“If it turns out to be Yarde, then we’ll get together and decide, ‘Are we going to be able to close that deal? Are we going to be able to make a deal for that fight to take place?’

“I heard that you mentioned Frank talking about the fight that will take place on October 22 in the UK. Well, there’s a lot for that to happen. Madison Square Garden seems like a very happy place for us to host fights.

“For Joe Smith, we are going to sell Hulu for this fight. [Beterbiev], I’m sure. Joe’s stature will only increase if he beats Beterbiev, and there is a lot that can happen here in the US and New York for a massive Joe Smith fight if he beats Beterbiev and has all the titles.

“So, I think all of those things will come into play, and like I said, Frank has to go out there and promote his guy. [Yarde] and do what you have to do for your fighter. When all is said and done, and Joe is the unified champion, we will sit down and decide what we think is best for his career in the next fight.

“There is a certain Mexican legend in Canelo. He will be fighting in September, we hope,” DeGuardo said when asked what other options there are for Smith Jr. to fight next besides Bivol.

“There are a lot of other guys out there who could make interesting fights with Joe Smith and big fights. There is a lot of action in and around that division. [light heavyweight]and there are many things we can be looking towards.

“I’m also not letting go of the fact that if we get past Beterbiev, that fight, I hope, that everyone in England will be tuning in to, as well as ESPN here and around the world.

I look forward to that fight. [Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr] be real fireworks. I expect them to be bombs away in a very, very exciting fight. So potentially there could be a rematch if it’s such a good fight?

“There are so many things that can happen, and that’s really why we have to wait to see what happens on June 18. Again, I don’t want to go past June 18 because I know we have a real challenge in front of us in Artur Beterbiev. June 18 is going to be a special night for boxing,” DeGuardia said.

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