Promoter Eddie Hearn is still looking for a suitor for Dmitry Bivol.
The WBA light heavyweight champion from Russia has been on the hunt for an opponent ever since talks to engage Canelo Alvarez in a rematch fell through earlier this year. Last month, Alvarez announced a multi-bout partnership with Premier Boxing Champions to take on the fighters associated with that outfit, starting with undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo on Sept. 30 in Las Vegas.
Bivol, 32, has not fought since November, when he defeated Gilberto Ramirez by unanimous decision. He has stated his desire to return to the ring by October.
His promoter, Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing, recently floated a few scenarios, the most enticing of which involves pairing Bivol with the winner of the upcoming light heavyweight title fight on Aug. 19 in Quebec City between Artur Beterbiev, the WBO, WBC, IBF 175-pound champion, and England’s Callum Smith. If Smith beats Beterbiev—which would be a considerable upset—a fight between the Liverpudlian and Bivol would be relatively easy to make, since Hearn promotes both fighters. (Beterbiev is backed by rival promoter Top Rank.)
“I would like to push the winner of Callum Smith-Beterbiev against Dmitry Bivol,” Hearn told iFL TV. “But we need the lead-up time.”
Hearn added that he would try to stage that undisputed light heavyweight title bout in the Middle East, possibly in Abu Dhabi.
Recent reports have suggested that Matchroom has explored the possibility of a fight between Bivol and British contender Anthony Yarde in the short term, but that seems somewhat unlikely for the fall since Yarde is already scheduled to return to the ring Sept. 23 on the undercard of the heavyweight rematch between Zhilei Zhang and and Joe Joyce in London.
The 31-year-old Yarde, who is promoted by Queensberry Promotions, has not fought since putting up a valiant effort in a stoppage loss against Beterbiev on Jan. 28 in London.
“We’d like to [make Bivol-Yarde],” Hearn said. “I’ll speak to [Queensberry head] George Warren next week. There could be a deal there done. Dmitry wants to fight in America. We can look at BT airing that fight and us hosting it on DAZN in America, etc., there’s lots of ways around it.
"But I do like the Anthony Yarde fight. It’s a tremendous fight. He put up a good performance against Beterbiev.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.