At this stage in his career, aggregating world titles is of the utmost importance to Artur Beterbiev. Having ripped away the WBO light heavyweight crown from the clutches of Joe Smith Jr., the newly turned 38-year-old is now just one belt away from achieving his longtime dream.
Of course, Dmitry Bivol holds the final piece of the undisputed puzzle. All along, the unified champion has expressed an overwhelming desire to face his fellow contemporary. Yet, before Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) can place his focus on unifying the entire division, he’ll look to discard Anthony Yarde. Officially, the two will square off this Saturday night, January 28th, at the Wembley Arena in the United Kingdom.
While deserving, many, including longtime promoter Bob Arum, expect the pulverizing puncher to take care of business. If all goes well, Arum will attempt to hammer out a deal that will see his light heavyweight champion head into the ring against Bivol. However, despite admitting that he would love to see Beterbiev become an undisputed titlist, Arum acknowledges that Bivol, and rightfully so, could opt to go in another direction.
“Yea I think so,” said Arum to Boxing UK when asked if Beterbiev vs. Bivol could happen next. “But we gotta be realistic. I think Bivol is looking first to fight Canelo Alvarez, a much bigger financial fight for him. So if that fight happens, Bivol and Beterbiev won’t be until next year.”
As Arum alludes to, an unfathomable amount of green could ultimately distract Bivol. In May of 2022, Bivol scored a career-high payday and worldwide recognition following his victory over Alvarez. The Mexican star has since refused to simply sit back and acknowledge that Bivol is the better fighter. Instead, Alvarez fully intends on facing his now budding rival during the second half of 2023.
If, for some reason, Alvarez changes his mind and decides to pursue other bouts, Arum would be willing to schedule Bivol and Beterbiev for the tail end of the year.
“If the Canelo fight doesn't happen, then maybe we can do Beterbiev and Bivol this year.”
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