Eddie Hearn says he wants WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol to defend against Joshua Buatsi next, while IBF, WBC & WBO champ Artur Beterbiev faces his WBC mandatory Callum Smith in the summer in Liverpool, England.
Hearn states that Bivol would then face Canelo Alvarez in a rematch later this year and fight Beterbiev afterward at some point. Although Hearn doesn’t say when Bivol would fight Beterbiev, it’s likely in early 2024.
Beterbiev has a bad cut that needs to heal, and he also has Ramadan from March 22 to April 21. Those two things will prevent Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) from fighting until the summer. Boxing fans want Bivol and Beterbiev to fight next, but that’s impossible.
Callum Smith will be a good fight for Beterbiev, but it’s questionable whether he’d be interested in traveling to Liverpool to put himself at risk of getting robbed.
“Great effort from Anthony Yarde. Great heart, and he stood in there. What I also saw was a great performance from Beterbiev,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show about last Saturday’s eighth round knockout win by Artur Beterbiev over Anthony Yarde.
“You know boxing. Whether you thought he [Beterbiev] was behind in that fight or not, he was in control all the time. When the shots were coming back, he was positioning his feet and bringing Yarde onto shots; he was breaking him down round by round. It was a really good performance from Beterbiev. He’s a fantastic fighter.
“Yeah, Yarde can really fight. He showed great heart and a great performance. Now the dynamic is fascinating. Callum Smith is the mandatory for Artur Beterbiev with no exceptions. Dmitry Bivol has wanted the Beterbiev fight for a long time.
“You saw the build-up to the fight. People started saying, ‘Yeah, we want the undisputed fight.’ No one now after they got the energy. Let’s see if they have the same energy now because Dmitry Bivol is ready to fight Beterbiev.
“It’s probably one of the biggest fights in boxing. But Canelo Alvarez also wants to fight Dmitry Bivol for undisputed at 168. So Bivol is in a great position. For me, I’d like to see Callum Smith vs. Artur Beterbiev, probably in Anfield, the big Liverpool Stadium, in the early summer after Ramadan.
“Dmitry Bivol against Joshua Buatsi in the spring, and then Bivol fights Canelo at 168 for undisputed and then straightaway fight Beterbiev for undisputed or Callum Smith at 175 as well.
“There’s so much that can happen. Listen, Bivol may want to go into an undisputed with Beterbiev. Obviously, we have Callum Smith, we’ve got Bivol, and we’ve got Canelo Alvarez. This is where it gets really exciting because we’ve got some massive fights at 175,” said Hearn.