By Craig Daly: Eddie Hearn says WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol could fight for the undisputed 175-lb championship later this year against the Artur Beterbiev vs. Joe Smith Jr., winner of their match on June 18th.
Bivol is going off a mammoth 12-round unanimous decision win over Canelo on May 7th, and not surprisingly, Hearn wants to endure that the planned rematch goes smoothly for May 2023.
Hearn says the undisputed fight is just one possibility for Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) to take this year.
That would be a risky fight for Bivol in taking on IBF/WBC 175lb champion Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs) or WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. (28-3, 22 KOs).
First off, Bivol will make a defense of his WBA light heavyweight title, and then after that, the option of fighting for the undisputed against the Beterbiev-Smith winner will be an option for him.
Hearn’s options for Bivol’s next fight:
1. Joshua Buatsi
2. Callum Smith
Buatsi is unbeaten but didn’t look good in his recent win over Craig Richards last week. Callum Smith is better known than Buatsi, but he looked bad in his one-sided 12-round decision loss to Canelo Alvarez in 2020.
“He’s going to be fighting around that same time that Joe Smith and Beterbiev are fighting in June, so Dmitry Bivol could even be looking at the undisputed fight later in the year with us,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN Boxing Show on the possibility of WBA 175-lb champion Bivol fighting for the undisputed light heavyweight championship against the Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr. winner.
Unless Hearn can talk Beterbiev & Smith’s promoter Bob Arum into changing his mind about him not being interested in letting either of those two fighters face Bivol, an undisputed fight is NOT going to happen in 2022.
“Obviously, Joshua Buatsi just won over the weekend. That’s a fight we’d be very interested to make [against Bivol] as well. You’ve got Callum Smith, another one of the fighters we represent.
“We’ve got plenty of options for him [Bivol] as far as voluntary defenses. He wants to become undisputed, but at the same time, he wants the rematch [with Canelo Alvarez] because that rematch is going to make him a hell of a lot of money.
“That’s one of the biggest fights [Canelo vs. Bivol II], so we’ll sit down with the World Of Boxing and Vadim [Kornilov] and plan out the future of Dmitry Bivol. He’s in a great position,” said Hearn.
“I’m excited about the GGG [vs. Canelo trilogy] fight,” said AK. “I do agree with you. I think this makes that even more interesting, the Canelo defeat to Bivol. I guess Canelo still goes in as a favorite against GGG, but maybe not so much if he had beaten Bivol,” said AK.