Artur Beterbiev vs. Dmitry Bivol can happen on ESPN says Eddie Hearn
By Craig Daly: Promoter Eddie Hearn says he’s open to the idea of letting WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol battle IBF/WBC/WBO champion Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed clash on ESPN.
Hearn said that Beterbiev’s promoter Bob Arum was jumping the gun by assuming that he would attempt to make a fight with Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) on DAZN. He just wants to make the fight, and he’s willing to have it take place on ESPN.
Hearn suspects that Arum’s true reason for not wanting to make the Beterbiev-Bivol fight is that he’s not confident that his fighter Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) can win.
So instead of Arum making the fight with Bivol, he’s planning on matching him against #1 WBO contender Anthony Yarde in October.
Hearn says Beterbiev vs. Yarde is a huge mismatch, and fans see it the same way. Yarde is a domestic-level fighter, who fell apart and was knocked out in his only fight against a true top-tier guy in Sergey Kovalev in 2019.
“I think Beterbiev is an easier fight for Canelo Alvarez than Bivol,” said Eddie Hearn to DAZN Boxing Show. “Styles make fights. In hindsight, you see the fight and you actually say, yeah. Bivol beats Beterbiev.
“Fight fans can’t get conned by people coming out after a fight saying, ‘We wouldn’t do the fight on the Dark Zone’ or whatever Bob [Arum] was saying.
“There’s a reason he’s saying that. We don’t have to do the fight on DAZN. We’ll do it on ESPN or we’ll go in a room, me and Bob, with an envelope and we’ll open them up and see who bids the most money for that fight [between Bivol and Artur Beterbiev].
“What they [Top Rank] trying to do is to put everybody off from the fight not happening because ‘They’ll want to do it on their platform.’ It’s ridiculous. Why aren’t they talking about the undisputed fight?
“Bivol doesn’t have a fight scheduled. We can [do Beterbiev vs. Bivol on DAZN pay-per-view]. The first thing out of the bat is he says that. By the way, we can do it on ESPN. There’s no offer, they’re not talking about it.
“Nice guy, and he’s from London, but that’s a mismatch,” Hearn said about Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde. “That’s a total mismatch. Yarde hasn’t boxed, having done three rounds in 18 months or whatever. He’s a good domestic fighter and had a good fight with Kovalev in Russia. Beterbiev is a different animal.
“This is an undisputed fight [between Beterbiev and Bivol]. We can make that fight easy. If we don’t make that fight, it’s good news for our stable. Joshua Buatsi and Callum Smith, who will probably get the voluntary defense. But then he’s [Bivol] going to fight Canelo Alvarez, so now the chance to make the undisputed fight [with Beterbiev].
“Sometimes, people don’t press him [Arum], and the media get a little conned by it as well. No one is saying, ‘Bob, why don’t you go straight into the Bivol fight?’ He hasn’t got a fight.
“There’s a real momentum going to make the undisputed champion. Charlo has just done it, Devin Haney has done it. and in women’s boxing, we have five or six undisputed champions.
“It’s so good for the sport. How good is Beterbiev against Bivol? I know they’re two Russian fighters, but they’re two fighters that have fought over here.
“Bivol is coming off a massive win, and Beterbiev is a beast, but they’re [Top Rank] not talking about it. ‘We’re not doing it on DAZN.’ We haven’t even had a conversation.
“They [Top Rank] want to do the Yarde fight [for Beterbiev]. Frank [Warren] and Bob [Arum] have closed, and it does business sense to them,” said Hearn.
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