The December 15 Madison Square Garden card being streamed on DAZN is getting another world title fight.
According to ESPN, IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev will defend his title against Joe Smith Jr. and it will take place on the undercard of the MSG card.
This will be the second title defense for Beterbiev in the span of roughly three months after first winning the vacant title in 2017. Beterbiev made his first world title defense back on October 6 on a Matchroom Boxing show streamed on DAZN where he scored a quick knockout victory over Callum Johnson.
Smith’s career shot up after retiring Bernard Hopkins with a knockout victory in 2016 that sent Hopkins through the ropes and out of the ring in the eighth round. Smith would then go on to lose his next fight against Sullivan Barrera in 2017, but bounced back in June by knocking out Melvin Russell. In that same report by ESPN, it stated that Smith has signed a three-fight co-promotional deal with Matchroom Boxing. Smith also was offered a shot at the WBA title held by Dmitry Bivol, but Smith and Joe DeGuardia from Star Boxing opted for the fight against Beterbiev.
The card, which will stream exclusive on DAZN in the United States will be headlined by Canelo Alvarez’s fight with WBA “regular” super middleweight champion Rocky Fielding. The fight marks the first fight in Alvarez’s gargantuan 11-fight, $365 million deal to fight exclusively on DAZN, the streaming service that launched in the United States earlier this year.