Bivol vs. Arthur: A Technical Masterclass or Snoozefest?

By Tim Compton - 12/30/2023 - Comments

Fans’ reactions were mixed about their thoughts on last Saturday night’s fight between WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol and Lyndon Arthur on the ‘Day of Reckoning’ event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

While some feel that Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) put on a masterclass performance against his overmatched opponent Arthur (23-2, 16 KOs), winning a lopsided twelve round unanimous in a fight that lacked drama.

Bivol’s previous fight against Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez was also a dull affair in November 2022, with Dmitry boxing him from the outside, and not going all when he had him stunned at one point.

The unbeaten WBA champion Bivol was content to box rather than try and impress against a fighter that was glacially slow and not in the same league as him talent-wise.

Against All Odds: Arthur’s Gritty Stand

Underdog Lyndon Arthur showed a lot of heart, fighting back after being hurt and looking like he was close to being stopped. Arthur was under duress from Bivol the entire night, but he continued to fight back, landing big shots each time he looked to bail himself out.

The way that Bivol played it safe, not going for the knockout when he had Arthur hurt in the eleventh, reinforced the view that fans have of him lacking the killer instinct and being a boring fighter.

The win for the 33-year-old Bivol on course to face the winner of the January 13th fight between IBF/WBC/WBO champion Artur Beterbiev and Callum Smith.

DAZN Boxing Show Weighs In

“I wasn’t super impressed. I think Arthur was someone who wasn’t that busy, who was on retreat for most of the night, and there were opportunities for Bivol to show more power,” said Akin Reyes on DAZN Boxing Show, expressing his disappointment in Bivol’s effort.

“But I think for a pound-for-pound guy, that fight did not play out as I envisioned it. He was in defensive mode; he was in survival mode.”

It wasn’t the type of performance Bivol needed to create excitement about him fighting for the undisputed light heavyweight championship against the Beterbiev-Smith winner.

The Saudis are paying for the undisputed championship, and they brought Bivol over to Riyadh for his fight against Lyndon to help set that fight up.

Bivol wins, but questions linger

You would think that the least that Bivol could have done is give the Saudis and the fans that ordered the event on PPV value for their money rather than playing it safe and doing the minimum to win the fight against a guy that didn’t belong inside the same ring with him.

“I think it was a typical Dmitry Bivol fight; he throws a 1-2-1 or 1-2-3, but even that three is from long range,” said Barak Bess, coming to Bivol’s defense for his lackluster performance.

“He’s not sitting on his punches. Even when he went in on Lyndon Arthur, they weren’t hard enough to get Lydon out of there.”

If Bivol is going to fight like that against Callum Smith or Artur Beterbiev, there’s a good chance he’ll lose because those guys will be attacking him nonstop with huge power shots, and they’ll either stop him or get the nod with the judges.

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