Joe Smith Jr targeting Dmitry Bivol, wants him next after Artur Beterbiev
By Huck Allen: Dmitry Bivol won’t have any problems getting the undisputed light heavyweight championship fight that he craves if WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. defeats IBF/WBC champ Artur Beterbiev on June 18th.
Smith (28-3, 22 KOs) says he’ll want to fight Bivol next for the undisputed 175-lb championship once he beats the undefeated two-belt champion Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KO) in their unification fight on June 18th on ESPN+ at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) shocked the world recently by defeating superstar Canelo Alvarez with a dominant performance on May 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The undefeated WBA 175-lb champion Bivol took the former four-division world champion Canelo to school, outboxing him rather than using his power and exposing the Mexican star as not possessing anywhere close to the same skillset.
It would be one thing for the 6’0″ Bivol to use his size advantage to defeat Canelo, but it was completely unexpected that he showed that he was the far superior technically skilled fighter.
All the things that Canelo learned from his 12-round schooling by Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2013 were rudimentary stuff compared to the technical skills Bivol showed off in his surprisingly easy win over the Mexican star.
You can argue that Bivol deserved a 12-o win over Canelo, and definitely not the shockingly poor 115-113 x 3 scores turned in by the three judges that worked the May 7th fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“I still believe Bivol is the best light heavyweight right now, and I believe he will be until I get my rematch,” Joe Smith Jr. said to the DAZN Boxing Show about his desire to battle WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol for the undisputed 175-lb championship after he defeats IBF/WBC champion Artur Beterbiev on June 18th.
It’s personal for Joe Smith wanting to fight Bivol, as he lost to him by a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision in March 2019.
The only moment that Smith Jr had in that fight was when he hit Bivol after the bell sounded to end the ninth round, hurting him.
Unfortunately for Smith, that was all he could do, as Bivol continued to toy with him in rounds 10 through 12 to earn an easy decision.
If Smith can defeat Bivol in their rematch for the undisputed 175-lb championship, he’d make a lot of boxing fans forget his loss from three years ago.
“I know he’s great, and he put on a great show against Canelo, so you can’t doubt him,” Smith Jr. said about Bivol. “Everyone he’s got in the ring with, he’s made them look ordinary.”
“That’s what I want; I want to be undisputed,” Joe Smith Jr. said. “If we can make that fight happen sooner rather than later, I want to become undisputed as quickly as possible.”
Smith Jr needs to keep his focus on Beterbiev right now because he’s considered the underdog going into that fight. If Smith can’t keep the heavy-handed Beterbiev off him, he won’t last long.
- Artur Beterbiev vs. Dmitry Bivol can happen on ESPN says Eddie Hearn
- Canelo Alvarez admits it “hurt” to lose against Dmitry Bivol, vows to be “stronger”
- Canelo may have been sick before Bivol fight says Robert Garcia
- Canelo Alvarez says Dmitriy Bivol rematch will be at 175