According to statements provided to Radio Canada from promoter Camille Estephan of Eye of the Tiger Mangement (EOTTM), unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev may not be able to step back in the ring until at least November.

Beterbiev was scheduled to make a mandatory defense against Callum Smith on August 19 in Quebec.

Radio Canada reports that the fight was postponed after Beterbiev suffered a serious jaw infection; the result of a root canal gone wrong. The injury required emergency surgery.

"I had an operation because of the infection in my jaw. And the doctors insisted on postponing the fight so that the jaw had time to heal. Thanks to everyone who has already bought tickets - the fight will definitely be on another day.

God's plans are much better than our dreams," Beterbiev stated.

Beterbiev had recently traveled to Russia. Once he got back to Montreal, he started to feel some discomfort, but not to the point where he didn't train. He even took part in a few sparring sessions under the supervision of his trainer Marc Ramsay.

In the weeks that followed, the pain escalated to the point where he had to see a specialist. Beterbiev had emergency surgery on Sunday morning.

The operation went well, but the recovery could be long, with several weeks required at the minimum.

While November is the earlier return target, the fight could be delayed until January 2024 if the recovery time is extended.

Back in January, Beterbiev was down on the cards and went through some fire to score a stoppage win over mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde. 

Smith's last ring appearance took place in August of last year, when he knocked out Mathieu Bauderlique in four rounds.