Artur Beterbiev called out Dmitry Bivol after his fight with Anthony Yarde last Saturday night, saying, “I want Bivol” for his next fight to battle for the undisputed light heavyweight championship.
Unfortunately, it’s not looking promising that the Bivol-Beterbiev fight will take place this year because Beterbiev has Ramadan, he has a cut to deal with now, and Bivol will likely be facing Canelo Alvarez in a rematch in September.
There probably isn’t going to be enough time for Bivol to return at the end of the year unless he stops Canelo early in their rematch in September. With Canelo’s strong punch resistance, it’s unlikely that Bivol will stop him.
Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) had a tough time getting by Yarde (23-3, 22 KOs), who gave him all he could handle before being pulled out of the fight in the seventh round by his trainer after he’d been dropped and hurt.
The pro-Yarde crowd kept him in the fight because they cheered him each time he landed anything, and that seemed to boost him when things were looking bleak. Had the fight taken place in a neutral venue, Yarde would have indeed folded much earlier in the fight.
By that point in the fight, Yarde, 31, had nothing in the gas tank and was only fighting in spurts and taking huge shots from the better-conditioned IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Beterbiev at the OVO Arena in London, England.
“One two of the three scorecards, Yarde was up,” said Bernardo Osuna to ESPN+ about Anthony Yarde up on the scorecards at the time Artur Beterbiev stopped him in the eighth round.
“I wasn’t scoring fight, but I could see Yarde winning some rounds. I know he won the first round,” said Tim Bradley. “I need to go back and watch it.
“No, I couldn’t give him [Yarde] five rounds. I could maybe give him four.
“He definitely didn’t win rounds,” said Andre Ward about Yarde. “He definitely had moments, and he gave the judges reasons to say, ‘Hey, maybe he won this round.’ But I think Beterbiev was taking over.
“You have stretches in fights where a fighter isn’t folding and is fighting back and having moments, but you get the sense that they’re not winning the rounds. In the last couple of rounds it was like that where Beterbiev was coming on, and you felt it.
“You could feel the air was getting sucked out of Anthony Yarde. You could see that he was getting fatigued, but it was also tricky too because every time you thought Beterbiev would have him, he would answer and storm back, and he would put Beterbiev on the back foot.
“During moments, it was a tricky fight to score, especially early. You said, ‘Who do I give this round to?’ I definitely don’t give him five, though. Five is hard to give him,” said Ward.
“Yarde fought a courageous fight. He started off boxing well from the outside. I would say that he won a couple of these early rounds, definitely. There’s no doubt about it that he got caught with some big shot,” said Bradley.