WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol’s manager Vadim Kornilov revealed today that talks are underway for a summer fight with Jaime Munguia.
Kornilov admits that the middleweight Munguia (41-0, 33 KOs) isn’t the guy that they wanted, but to keep Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) active until September, it’ll do.
Bivol had hoped to fight IBF, WBC & WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev next for the undisputed championship at 175. Still, the money wasn’t there to justify making a fight of this magnitude.
Kornilov says the Bivol vs. Beterbiev fight could still happen in September if a rematch with Canelo Alvarez doesn’t occur for Dmitry that month. With Canelo wanting the rematch at 175 instead of 168, it’s unclear whether Bivol will take the fight.
He wants to face Canelo for his undisputed super middleweight championship because that’s the only motivation for him in facing the Mexican star after soundly beating him last May.
“There were some discussions about a month ago to make the fight in June or July in the UAE or U.S, but the numbers that were brought up and things we were trying to materialize, it wasn’t materializing,” said Vadim Kornilov to Fight Freaks Unite about an undisputed light heavyweight fight between WBA champ Dmitry Bivol and IBF/WBA/WBO champion Artur Beterbiev.
“They’re both pound-for-pound fighters, and they want this fight to be worth their while. What was talked about for June or July was just not at the level of the fight [monetarily], and that’s why it didn’t materialize,” Kornilov continued about the Bivol vs. Beterbiev fight.
“That’s not the case yet. There are still the Munguia negotiations. That’s not our choice. It’s not like we said we wanted to fight Munguia. That’s just another name on DAZN that we can try and make a fight with.
“Ask Dmitry right now what he thinks about fighting Munguia. He just told you, ‘I’d rather deal with my life and go and fight in September [against Canelo Alvarez].’ Does the fight [with Munguia] excite him? I don’t think so, but he needs to stay active.
“You’ve got a lot of people in the press saying, ‘Why isn’t Dmitry active? He’s one of the best fighters in the world, pound-for-pound. Why isn’t he fighting?’ Well, here’s your answer. Does Dmitry really want to fight Munguia? Not really.
“Do the fans want to see Munguia-Bivol? Some do but not everybody. Not all the press want to see that, but it all comes down to business in a way to what Dmitry wants, to what Beterbiev wants, and you’ve got Canelo saying he only lost by a couple of rounds and wants the rematch at 175.
“Everyone has their own plate in front of them, but how do we make it work? That’s the issue. Matchroom is working really hard to make this thing [Bivol vs. Munguia] work. We’re in touch every day. We’re meeting today to discuss this further.
“Golden Boy and Matchroom are talking about Bivol-Munguia as we speak. Is it a done fight? No. Is it going to materialize? Do we want to keep Dmitry active? Of course. We don’t want him to sit out for six months.
“At the same time, if it doesn’t work out, we got to September, whether it’s Beterbiev or Canelo [for Bivol]. I know Dmitry wants Beterbiev. There’s no reason for Dmitry to fight Canelo at 175 because you’ve got the judging issue; you got Canelo thinking he won by a couple of rounds, but it’s really the judges making him think that. I don’t think it’s the truth. I don’t think he lost by a couple of rounds. He lost most of those rounds.
“The bottom line is if we don’t get the fight right now and there’s no better opponent that comes up than Munguia, we just go to September, and we fight Beterbiev or Canelo. Whoever is going to be the right deal and the right motivation for Dmitry?
“I think Beterbiev will be the priority for September or October or Canelo if he wants to fight at 168 because, for Dmitry, that’s a challenge. He has to make the weight because all the titles are on the line. That’s the bottom line,” said Kornikov about Bivol.