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Although Top Rank hasn't yet formally announced it has signed light heavyweight titlist Artur Beterbiev to a promotional contract, the deal is done and the company is working on a May defense on ESPN vs. former title challenger Sullivan Barrera, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN. Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KOs), 34, a two-time Russian Olympian fighting out of Montreal, made his first defense by fourth-round knockout of Callum Johnson in October in what was supposed to be the first fight of a three-fight co-promotional deal between Yvon Michel and Matchroom Boxing. However, the deal was voided because it was tied to Beterbiev’s deal with adviser Al Haymon, who released him rather than subject himself to potential litigation for alleged breach of contract. Barrera (22-2, 14 KOs), 36, of Miami, lost his only title shot by 12th-round KO to Dmitry Bivol 11 months ago.

Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer81d ago