The manager of Dmitry Bivol is confident that it is only a question of time before Russian light heavyweight titlists Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev contend for the undisputed championship.

Vadim Kornilov, Bivol’s longtime hander, indicated recently that while a fight between Bivol, the WBA 175-pound titleholder, and Beterbiev, the WBC, WBO, and IBF champion, may not happen necessarily soon, he is still convinced that the fight will take place at some point down the road.

Kornilov, in particular, pushed back against the notion that the fight was a pipe dream because of the fighters’ respective network allegiances; Bivol fights primarily on DAZN, the subscription streaming service that has strong ties with Bivol’s co-promoter Matchroom, while Beterbiev fights exclusively on ESPN, the sports media giant that has an exclusive arrangement with Beterbiev’s promoter Top Rank. In most cases, top fighters aligned with different platforms seldom get the opportunity to face each other.

Bob Arum, the head of Top Rank, recently said he had no plans on letting Beterbiev fight Bivol unless the fight happened on ESPN. Despite those pointed comments, Kornilov thinks the fight will happen, so long as the fighters continue to apply the necessary pressure.

“Of course it is [possible],” Kornilov told “It's really up to the boxers to push for the fight to happen or not. The networks of course can be a barrier, but sooner or later, barriers usually are overcome, and the big fights are made.”

“Of course we are interested [in the undisputed fight],” Kornilov continued. “This is the fight to make in order to settle dominance and legacy in the division.”

Kornilov was impressed with Beterbiev’s latest performance, a second-round knockout of Joe Smith Jr. at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. The win gave Beterbiev three of the four light heavyweight titles.

“Beterbiev looked great in this fight,” Kornilov said. “Confident victory for him.”

Bivol also has a victory over Smith. In 2019, Bivol outpointed Smith, winning a dominant 12-round decision. In May, Bivol defeated undisputed 168-pound champion Canelo Alvarez by unanimous decision. It is not clear whom Bivol will face next but Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn has indicated that his preference is for the Russian to face British light heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi.

“Our team is still working on the plans for the possible next fight and we hope that we can come out with some updates soon,” Kornilov said.