It’s been a beautiful, yet frustrating two years for Dmitry Bivol.

In 2022, the Russian star essentially gave oddsmakers the middle finger as he was viewed as a gigantic underdog against Canelo Alvarez. After 12 rounds, he found himself on the winning side of things, eking out a unanimous decision victory. A few months later, Bivol parlayed that satisfying moment into a lopsided win over Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez.

The new year was supposed to be another building block after breaking out but for whatever reason, Bivol has been sequestered on the sidelines. Being both out of sight and out of mind was vexing, but the 33-year-old managed to remain patient, he also remained in the gym.

This past weekend, at the Kingdom Arena in Saudi Arabia, his patience and consistency paid off. After arbitrarily being given a bout against Lyndon Arthur, Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) placed his skills on display, winning every second of every round according to the three judges watching ringside. Now, Bivol is hoping that 2024 will be more kind, including an undisputed clash with the winner between Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith.

Although fighting his fellow Russian is his number one priority, Bivol can hear the noise surrounding Jai Opetaia. The Aussie may have lost his IBF cruiserweight title due to a technicality, but he proved that he’s still the man to beat following his recent first-round stoppage win over Ellis Zorro.

Fighting Opetaia (24-0, 19 KOs) would require Bivol to ditch the light heavyweight and throw on several pounds of muscle. Ultimately, Bivol is more than willing to move up in weight and face off against Opetaia but not before fulfilling his light heavyweight destiny.

“I want to finish business in my weight class,” Bivol told Boxing News during a recent interview. “Then we can make fight.”