WBA, IBO light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol has a one-track mind moving forward, and it might as well be billed undisputed or bust. 

Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) handily bested Lyndon Arthur by a shutout unanimous decision during a title defense on Dec. 23. The Russian also scored a knockdown of the Brit as well. 

Bivol is now turning his attention entirely to the winner of the Jan. 13 fight between WBC, WBO, and IBF champion Artur Beterbiev and former light heavyweight titlist Callum Smith.

The soon-to-be 39-year-old Beterbiev and Bivol, 33, have been kicking the tires around a potential bout for several years, but time is of the essence now to get the fight across the finish line. 

Bivol promoter Matchroom Boxing and Beterbiev promoter Top Rank will likely lean on the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia to finance the fight.

The 2022 fighter of the year Bivol’s last two fights have taken place in the Middle East, and he expects a third to be staged in the region as well. 

Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, is interested in a Bivol vs. the winner of the Beterbiev-Smith matchup, among other fights, for Bivol. 

“Turki Alalshikh asked me, 'Let's make the fight against Jai Opetaia.' But to be honest, I told him I want to do everything at light heavyweight first and then we will see. Maybe I will move up. I'm focused on my weight division,” Bivol told reporters after the fight. “The only goal for me is undisputed. That's the only fight I want to focus on.”

The career-long light heavyweight Bivol also discussed his dominant win against Arthur. 

“I was keeping my energy. I was enjoying the fight. I tried to feel distance and use my jab. I wanted him to throw more punches,” said Bivol. “He wasn't better or worse. He was what I was expecting him … I'm ready. It's a good time to get the big fight.” 

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