Right now, the light-heavyweight division is ruled by (Joe Smith Jr aside) two Russian tanks: Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev. Putting aside, as we should, the political feelings any Russian citizen may be feeling or may be making people feel, these two fighters have to be looked at as special. Bivol is of course still basking in the glory of his upset win over the sport’s biggest star in Canelo Alvarez, while Beterbiev, also unbeaten, is still in search of his breakthrough/star-making performance.
Might these two soon hook up, and if so, will Beterbiev and Bivol give us and the 175 pound division something special? Bivol may well have to tackle Canelo a second time, while Beterbiev has that potentially tough assignment with Smith Jr to get through. And we all know how dodgy it can be to make plans in the form of looking head to future match-ups.
But supposing Bivol and Beterbiev do each come through their next fights, how great it would be to see these two tough, skilled, fiercely determined and hungry fighters go at it! Who wins if Bivol, 20-0(11) and Beterbiev, 17-0(17) go head-to-head?
Talk about a tough fight to call.
Bivol, as we saw in the Canelo fight, is a superbly disciplined boxer. Fast hands, a masterful jab, excellent footwork, a good chin, a fine defence and an even better engine. Bivol has everything but crushing one-punch KO power. Beterbiev has raw power in abundance, yet he too can box, he has a rock for a chin, along with immense stamina, and Beterbiev is a proven pressure fighter capable of giving any rival sheer hell. It really does add up to a fight that, without being guilty of being overdramatic, would/will be nothing short of savage and sensational.
Bivol is the younger man by some six years at age 31, but Beterbiev has fought less pro rounds. Both men were educated plenty whilst compiling standout amateur records. Both men were born to fight and fight exceptionally well is what Bivol and Beterbiev do.
When they do collide, as we so hope they do, might Bivol outbox Beterbiev? Might Beterbiev walk through his countryman? Might both men take themselves, and us, to a place only the truly great fights are capable of taking us? It’s a guaranteed classic and we all know it. A unification, with all of the light-heavyweight belts on the line (again, assuming both men are still unbeaten when it happens) – Beterbiev-Bivol, Bivol-Beterbiev is the kind of fight that can make all fight fans so very grateful they are fight fans.
It could be the greatest, most intense 175 pound battle in years; in a pretty big number of years. If YOU could make one fight this year, would Beterbiev Vs. Bivol not be it?