Beterbiev calls out Bivol: “Let’s do it” for undisputed 175-lb championship
By Sam Volz: Three-belt light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev says he wants to face WBA champion Dmitry Bivol next for the undisputed championship at 175 after his scorching second-round knockout win over WBO champion Joe Smith Jr. on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
In a move that’s sure to upset his promoter Bob Arum, IBF/WBA light heavyweight champion Beterbiev dismissed the idea of making a voluntary defense against #1 WBO Anthony Yarde next, and instead, he called out Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) for a fight for the undisputed championship.
Bivol currently doesn’t have a fight scheduled after his big upset win over Canelo Alvarez on May 7th. Canelo had mentioned wanting an immediate rematch with Bivol, but he changed his mind and will now be fighting Gennadiy Golovkin on September 17th.
With Bivol not having any fights planned, it’s now possible for Beterbiev and him to fight later this year for the undisputed light heavyweight championship, as long as his promoter Arum doesn’t get in the way.
“He has a style like this. Any fights, he do like this,” said Artur Beterbiev said to Fight Hub TV after his second-round knockout win over Joe Smith Jr. on Saturday night.
“He catch me here [forehead]. I don’t know how he catch me. My coach said he caught me with an elbow. I’ll see on the video.
“I’m not seeing this fight. I don’t know,” said Beterbiev when asked if he’d seen Anthony Yarde’s 11th-round knockout loss to Sergey Kovalev in 2019.
“Yes, because they always talk like they want to fight for next. Okay, let’s do it,” said Beterbiev when asked if he wants to fight Dmitry Bivol next. “I don’t know but we need this fight, I think so,” said Beterbiev when asked how the fight with Bivol plays out.
“Yes, I want that,” said Beterbiev when asked if he prefers to fight Bivol for the undisputed 175-lb championship over a fight against Canelo Alvarez in a simple title defense, albeit one that would make him a lot of money.
“First cruiserweight, then after heavyweight,” said a joking Beterbiev. “Yes, it would be interesting to have another belt. I hope my promoter organizes for me that.
“No, I’m not expecting [for the Smith Jr. fight to end so quickly]. For all of my fights, I’m not expecting a knockout. I try to do what I’m working for eight weeks, and I try to do in the ring those things.
“The game plan isn’t just what we’re working on in the ring. It’s the eight weeks that we’re working on. No, when I first started to box, my dream was to get the Olympic gold medal,” said Beterbiev when asked if ever thought he’d be close to becoming the undisputed light heavyweight champion.
“Professional, I’m never thinking about. When I turned professional, I’m just a little bit dreaming, you know? It’s very nice to have a fight here in this historic place [Madison Square Garden] in New York.
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