Dmitry Bivol targeting Callum Smith at 168
By Scott Gilfoid: WBA World light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) is willing to move down to 168 to face WBA Super World super middleweight champion Callum Smith (25-0, 18 KOs) for his title, according to Michael Benson.
Bivol, 27, doesn’t mind going down to 168 to fight Smith. Bivol reportedly beat Smith in the amateurs in 2012. Smith is a year OLDER than Bivol at 28.
Smith says he wants to be the best fighter in the super middleweight division. Whether Smith and his wily promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport would be interested in fighting Bivol is unknown. Certainly, Bivol vs. Smith would create a lot of interest from the boxing public. Bivol is viewed by a lot of boxing fans as the next star in the 175 pound division, and the guy to beat right now.
Callum taking on Bivol would take a lot of courage, because the Russian talent appears to be the better fighter by far. The question is would Hearn give the green light for Smith to take on Bivol at 168 or would he block the fight, and make an excuse about the fight not being a marketable one? Smith says he wants to make a defense of his WBA title in Liverpool. Who better for Smith to face in Liverpool than a talent like Bivol? The fight would attract a lot of boxing fans to see Smith, as they would get a chance to see their new champion make his first – and possibly – his last defense of his WBA, WBC Diamond and Ring titles against Bivol.
Smith beat George Groves by a 7th round knockout last Friday night to win his WBA Super World super middleweight title, and capture the WBC Diamond, Ring title as well as winning the World Boxing Super Series tournament. Smith won the Muhammad Ali Trophy in the WBSS tournament.
Smith looked decent against Groves last Friday, but not the type of talent that would enable him to beat the likes of Bivol. I hate to say it, but Bivol likely makes easy work of Callum Smith in destroying him in three or four rounds. Smith is too upright, too hittable and too slow on his feet to deal with the two-fisted power of Bivol. I could be wrong, but I see Bivol clowning Smith in destroying him quickly. Of course, I highly doubt that his promoter Eddie Hearn will let him anywhere near Bivol unless the Russian signs with his Matchroom Boxing/DAZN promotion. Hearn has already signed IBF/WBA/WBC/WBO cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk to his Matchroom stable. If Hearn could add Bivol, it would give him arguably the best fighter in the light heavyweight division. Hearn didn’t block Usyk from fighting Matchroom stable fighter Tony Bellew, so perhaps he won’t block Callum Smith from fighting Bivol. Still, I think it’s highly doubtful that Hearn will let the Bivol vs. Smith fight take place because it’s a different situation than Usyk vs. Bellew. In that latter case, Bellew is on his way out of boxing and planning on retiring after the fight, so it doesn’t matter if ‘The Bomber’ loses. Callum, however, still has many years ahead of him at 28, so it’s likely that Hearn will protect him from talents like Bivol like a mother hen protecting her young. Guys like Bivol, Adonis Stevenson, Badou Jack, Artur Beterbiev, Eleider Alvarez and even Sergey Kovalev are all wrong for Callum Smith.
Bivol has recent wins over Isaac Chilemba and Sullivan Barrera. Bivol was sensational in both fights.