Promoter Eddie Hearn wants unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev’s promoters at Top Rank to make the undisputed fight against WBA champion Dmitry Bivol next rather than waiting until next year to put it together.
Hearn says Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) won’t be able to fight Beterbiev in the first half of 2023 because he’s going to be facing Canelo Alvarez in a rematch in May.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is planning on having Beterbiev defend against #1 WBO Anthony Yarde in October in London, even though the mandatory isn’t due at this time.
In other words, this is a fight that Arum wants, not what Beterbiev or the fans want. They want the undisputed clash between Bivol and Beterbiev.
Hearn believes that the handlers for Beterbiev realize how good Bivol is after watching him defeat Canelo Alvarez on May 7th, so they’ve decided to take an easier fight against Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs) rather than risk getting beaten.
Arum NOT interested in making Beterbiev vs. Bivol fight
It was clear long before Beterbiev fought Joe Smith Jr last weekend that Arum wasn’t interested in letting his fighter face Bivol.
This is what Arum said last month on May 19th on Fighthype about his lack of interest in matching Beterbiev vs. Bivol:
“Bivol fights on the DAZN platform and we’re not interested in our fighters fighting on DAZN,” said Arum. “Our fighters don’t want to fight on DAZN. They want to fight on ESPN where they get the biggest audience.
“So my suggestion is if the Canelo rematch isn’t available, he should fight Gilberto Ramirez. So Eddie Hearn and Gilberto both do their fights on DAZN, so it [Bivol vs. Ramirez] shouldn’t be a hard fight to make,” said Arim in making it clear back on May 19th that he had NO interest in letting Beterbiev fight Dmitry Bivol.
“Bivol is ready to fight for the undisputed,” said Eddie Hearn to Fight Hub TV. “There’s a lot of smoke & mirrors in boxing where people say, ‘Bivol is ready, he wants to become undisputed.’
“What are you waiting for? We’ve got no fight scheduled for Bivol,” said Hearn in sending a message to the promoters for IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion.
“So, yeah, they’ve got a mandatory that’s not really a mandatory, but they’re choosing to take it in [Anthony] Yarde],” Hearn continued about wanting to make the Beterbiev vs. Bivol fight NEXT rather than in 2023.
“Let’s do the undisputed next. Why do we have to wait? The fact is, people, know now how good Dmitry Bivol is. Dmitry Bivol is the best 175-pounder in the world.
“Beterbiev is a beast, by the way, but he doesn’t beat Dmitry Bivol. So let’s make that fight now. September, October, November, not waiting because if we wait, Bivol is going to make a defense in September or October, and then we’re going to do the Canelo Alvarez rematch.
“So if you want to be undisputed, strike now. Don’t talk about other fights. Let’s make the fight. I back Dmitry Bivol every day against Beterbiev, who is a great fighter, but Bivol is a special, special fighter,” said Hearn.