WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) removed the last hurdle standing in the way of his fighting for the undisputed championship with a dominant twelve round unanimous decision win over Lyndon Arthur (23-2, 16 KOs) on Saturday night at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
It was a workman-like performance from Bivol, taking no chances in winning by the scores 120-107, 120-107, and 120-107.
You can’t blame Bivol for not taking risks because he’s got a big fight in front of him for the undisputed championship, and Lyndon got his attention quite a few times with hard counterpunches
Bivol knocked Lyndon down with a body shot in the eleventh round, and he made it through. In the twelfth, Bivol went all out with a wild flurry of power shots, but Lyndon caught him with a big punch that caused him to give up on the idea of getting a crowd-pleasing knockout.
Bivol’s Future: Big Fights Beckon
Chris Mannix: “Dmitry, you settled for a lopsided wide decision. What did you think about your performance,” said Mannix to DAZN Boxing, talking to Bivol after his win over Arthur.
Dmitry Bivol: “I could say thought it was good sparring for me. Lyndon was using a good jab. I’m glad at the end of the year, I got this fight and I see my way to my goal to undisputed against the winner of Beterbiev-Smith. I hope this fight will happen in 2024 in the next fight.”
Mannix: “First fight in thirteen months, first fight since having a procedure on your right hand. How did you feel physically in there?”
Bivol: “I didn’t punish myself too much because I wasn’t sure will he have power or not. I looked at his eyes, and he kept something inside of him, too. I mean, strength. He was ready for twelve rounds.”
Mannix: “It’s been a while since you picked up a knockout. How bad did you want it in that final round?”
“Eddie Hearn, you just heard him say that he wants the winner of Beterbiev against Callum Smith. I know you have a horse in that race with Callum Smith, part of Matchroom, but regardless of who wins, how confident are you that we’ll see a title unification fight next year?”
Eddie Hearn: “Listen, Dmitry has done his part. His Excellency wants to make the biggest fights. The undisputed is always the biggest fight of the division. I’m sure they have plans here for that to be Dmitry against Beterbiev.
“We do have other plans. I believe Callum Smith is going to knock him [Beterbiev] out on January 13th, and it’ll be Bivol against Callum Smith, but let’s see what happens. That’s the natural step for Dmitry now. He’s been out of the ring for thirteen months. Twelve good rounds tonight.
“He’s ready to fight for all the belts. He’s one of the best fighters in boxing, but let’s see what happens on January 13th. As I’ve said, we’ve got other plans, but Dmitry is committed now with Saudi to make that fight. It’s over to them.”