At this point in his career, Artur Beterbiev places the biggest priority on accumulating world titles. The newly turned 38-year-old is just one title away from realizing his lifelong dream after ripping the WBO light heavyweight crown away from Joe Smith Jr.'s unconscious grasp.
Unquestionably, Dmitry Bivol is in possession of the final component of the puzzle. The unified champion has consistently voiced a strong desire to take on his fellow contemporary. Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) will first attempt to get rid of Anthony Yarde before turning his attention to unifying the entire division. This Saturday, January 28, the two will formally face off at the Wembley Arena in the United Kingdom.
Many people, including seasoned promoter Bob Arum, anticipate the crushing puncher to take care of business despite the fact that he is deserving. If everything goes according to plan, Arum will try to negotiate a deal that will have his light heavyweight champion fight Bivol. Arum agrees that, despite his desire to see Beterbiev establish himself as the unquestioned champion, Bivol has the right to choose to proceed in a different way.
“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.”
It's possible that Bivol could become distracted by an infinite amount of green, as Arum suggests. Following his victory over Alvarez in May 2022, Bivol earned a career-high salary and gained recognition all over the world. Since then, the Mexican boxer has resisted the temptation to just accept that Bivol is the superior opponent. Alvarez instead has every intention of fighting his soon-to-be opponent in the second half of 2023.
Arum would be willing to book Bivol and Beterbiev for the end of the year if Alvarez changes his mind and chooses to seek other fights. “If the Canelo fight doesn't happen, then maybe we can do Beterbiev and Bivol this year.” Arum stated.