Unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev was supposed to clash against WBO mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde in October, but in August, it was revealed that Beterbiev suffered an undisclosed injury that would delay the fight. 

Beterbiev trainer Marc Ramsay later revealed that Beterbiev needed additional time to heal from a minor right knee operation.

In June, the WBC, WBO, and IBF titleholder Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) demolished Joe Smith Jr. at the Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York inside two rounds. 

It appears the 37-year-old Beterbiev is trending toward a return to the ring.

Promoter Frank Warren said Monday that Beterbiev and Yarde are on track to meet Jan. 28.

But first, Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) will take a tune-up fight against a still-to-be determined opponent on Nov. 19 in Telford, United Kingdom.

“[Yarde is] going to fight on the same card as Zach [Parker], and then he’ll have the fight for the three titles, and that’ll be on the 28th of January next year,” Warren told IFL TV.  “He’s not had a fight in 12 months now, so he needs to get some ring rust out of his system.”

The 31-year-old Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) has not fought since scoring a fourth-round knockout in a rematch with Lyndon Arthur in December. 

Yarde had suffered a split decision loss to Arthur in 2020. 

His only other loss came to Sergey Kovalev via 11th round KO in 2019. 

Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.