Eddie Hearns wants Dmitry Bivol to defend against Anthony Yarde or Dan Azeez next

06/20/2023 - By Michael Collins - Comments

Eddie Hearn says he wants to have Dmitry Bivol defend his WBA light heavyweight title against two-time world title challenger Anthony Yarde or Dan Azeez next.

Hearn could not set up a rematch between Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) and Canelo Alvarez for September. So instead of that fight, Hearn is hopeful he can get Yarde (28-3, 22 KOs) or the unbeaten #2 WBA Azeez (19-0, 13 KOs) next Bivol.

Hearn said he would speak to Yarde’s promoter George Warren to see if he’s open to making that fight with Bivol.

Yarde gave IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev some problems last January before gassing out and getting stopped in the eighth round.

Although Yarde, 31, hasn’t fought since then to properly earn another title shot, Hearn would still like to give him another opportunity because of his strong showing against the unbeaten Beterbiev.

If nothing else, it’ll allow boxing fans to compare how Bivol & Beterbiev dealt with the same fighter. Yarde was knocked out by former WBO 175-lb champion Sergey Kovalev in the 11th round in August 2019 in Russia.

Azeez (19-0, 13 KOs) is ranked #2 WBA and a more logical choice for Bivol to fight. Hearn says he’ll try and make that fight if Azeez is a promotional-free agent.

The boxing world would prefer to see Bivol & Beterbiev fight for the undisputed championship at 175, but the WBC is blocking that fight from happening for their belt due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Apart from Beterbiev, Bivol has very few options at light heavyweight for interesting fights.

“I just want to give a Brit a shot. When you’re looking for an opponent. Obviously, Joshua Buatsi turned the fight down, and he’s not available promotionally. I love Dmitry Bivol against Anthony Yarde. I think that’s a fight we’re going to speak to George Warren about. He’s earned the right for another world title fight after that great performance [against IBF/WBC/WBO 175-lb champion Artur Beterbiev],” said Eddie Hearn to Boxing Social about his plans for WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol’s next fight.

“Obviously, Craig Richards has already fought Bivol. I think Dan Azeez has got himself to #2 [with the World Boxing Association]. He’s got himself British, Commonwealth, and European championships.

“I’d love to give him a shot against Dmitry Bivol. I think it’s a great story. If anyone is going to get a shot, I’d love to give it to a British fighter. We’ll open negotiations with Dan Azeez if he’s a free agent, and maybe that’s a fight we’ll see,” said Hearn.

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