Eddie Hearn says he wants WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol to defend his title against his mandatory Joshua Buatsi next later this year if Canelo Alvarez chooses not to take the immediate rematch with the unbeaten champion.
Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) defeated former Bivol challenger Craig Richards (17-3-1, 10 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision in a WBA 175-lb title eliminator last Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London. The judges scored the bout 116-112, 115-113, and 115-113.
There’s an excellent chance that Canelo will choose not to take the rematch with Bivol for September because there’s a lot of interest in him facing Gennady Golovkin for their trilogy match.
That original plan going into Canelo’s May 7th title challenge of Bivol, which the Mexican star had been predicted to win by the oddsmakers. Bivol threw a wreck into the plans for Canelo-Golovkin III trilogy match by defeating Canelo by a 12 round unanimous decision.
The fight was so one-sided in Bivol’s favor that Canelo almost has to fight him right away. Unfortunately, if Canelo doesn’t fight the soon to be 41-year-old Golovkin this year, the aging Kazahhstan fighter could lose to one of his contenders.
Golovkin holds the IBF & WBA middleweight titles, and he’s got mandatory defenses he needs to make if he wants to hold onto those straps.
“Canelo has the option to fight Bivol next or fight GGG or Bivol,” said Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing last Saturday night. “If he [Canelo] fights GGG, I’d like to bring Bivol against Joshua Buatsi to the O2.”
U.S boxing fans wouldn’t be all that thrilled at watching Bivol fight the 29-year-old British fighter Buatsi, as they’re not familiar with him.
If DAZN is interested in bringing in new subscribers for U.S fans, they’ve got to do better than Buatsi for Bivol to fight next. While that might do well in the UK, the Americans have no interest in watching Bivol fight against an unknown foreign fighter.
A better fight for Bivol would be for him to defend against unbeaten Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez (44-0,30 KOs), who is coming off a fourth-round knockout win over Dominic Boesel on May 14th at the Toyota Center in Ontario, California.
Ramirez called out Bivol after the fight, and he’s made it clear that he feels he’s got the beating of him.
“That’s an incredible fight,” said Hearn about a potential match between Bivol and Buatsi. “Whatever he’s got to do, he’s [Buatsi] ready for the challenge.
“It’s been six years since Rio since he turned professional [after the 2016 Olympics]. If Dmitry Bivol is available and ready to go towards the end of the year, I think that’s the fight for Joshua Buatsi