Eddie Hearn signs Dmitry Bivol
By Jeff Aranow: Matchroom Boxing USA promoter Eddie Hearn has reportedly signed WBA World lightweight champion Dmitry Bivol (13-0, 11 KOs) to his stable, presumably to help increase subscriptions for his DAZN streaming service. Boxingtalk.com is reporting the news of the 27-year-old Bivol signing with Hearn.
If this news turns out to be true, Bivol would easily be the biggest talent that Hearn has signed for his new DAZN deal. Thus far, Hearn hasn’t had much luck in getting any of the top fighters he’s been approaching to sign with him. Bivol could already be the best fighter in the light heavyweight division. He might not ever get the chance to prove that he’s the best, but if he can unify the division by picking up the IBF and WBO tiles, he’ll have enough belts to be viewed as the best fighter in the weight class.
Hearn’s streaming deal with DAZN kicks off in September. Bivol will be defending his title against former light heavyweight title challenger Isaac Chilemba (25-5-2, 10 KOs) on August 4 on HBO World Championship Boxing at the Hard Rock in Atlantic City, New Jersey. If Bivol is to start fighting on Hearn’s DAZN streaming surface, then his title defense against Chilemba could be his last fight on HBO. It doesn’t help Hearn if Bivol continues to fight on HBO. Hearn needs him to fight on his streaming service to try and increase subscriptions.
Bivol looked sensational in his last fight in stopping Sullivan Barrera in the 12th round last March. Bivol did a better job defeating Barrera than Andre Ward did two years ago. Ward defeated Barrera by a 12 round unanimous decision in a mostly boring fight that had little in the way of action. Bivol was much busier than Ward in connecting with a lot of shots.
It would be nice to see Hearn match Bivol against some of the other champions in the division. IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, WBC belt holder Adonis Stevenson or WBO champion Sergey Kovalev would be perfect options for Bivol to fight, but he might be considered too dangerous for those fighters to face him. Hearn signing Bivol is a good thing on paper, but if he can’t make fights for him against the top guys, then it’s pointless to have him in his stable. Bivol hasn’t been put in with any big names as of yet. Barrera is a good fighter, but he’s not in the same league as Kovalev, Stevenson and Beterbiev. Those are the fighters that Bivol needs to increase his popularity.