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Will Eddie Hearn block Bivol vs. Beterbiev undisputed fight?

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By Sean Jones: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn could be an obstacle to having the Dmitry Bivol vs. Artur Beterbiev undisputed clash next because he’s got other fights he wants to take place before those two meet.

Hearn says he wants WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol to fight Joshua Buatsi next, one of his Matchroom stable fighters.

On top of that, Hearn wants IBF, WBC & WBO champion Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) to fight Callum Smith in his next fight this year. Like Buatsi, Callum is one of Hearn’s fighters.

No incentive to make Bivol-Beterbiev next

There’s less to gain for Hearn by making the Bivol vs. Beterbiev fight next because it’s just one big payday rather than the handful that would happen by Hearn delaying the match until 2023 so that two fighters face his Matchroom fighters.

Fights standing in the way of Bivol-Beterbiev

  • Dmitry Bivol vs. Joshua Buatsi
  • Artur Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith
  • Dmitry Bivol vs. Canelo Alvarez

We’re talking about two in-house fights for Hearn if Bivol faces Buatsi and Beterbiev defends against Callum next. In looking at it from that standpoint, it’s not surprising that Hearn isn’t showing interest in making the Bivol vs. Beterbiev fight straightaway.

Technically, Callum (29-1, 21 KOs) is Beterbiev’s WBC mandatory, so he could be forced into the fight if the World Boxing Council orders it to happen next. However, Beterbiev’s promoters at Top Rank could easily pay Callum to step aside so that he can fight Bivol.

Provided Callum doesn’t ask for an absurd amount of money, he could be paid a step aside, allowing Beterbiev to face Bivol next in May or June.

There’s no reason why Bivol should fight Buatsi next because he’s not his mandatory right now, so it’s a match that doesn’t need to happen right now. As such, Callum is the only guy that needs to be moved out of the way for the Bivol vs. Beterbiev fight to happen next in 2023.

Hearn wants Beterbiev-Smith & Bivol-Buatsi

“Dmitry Bivol has wanted that Artur Beterbiev fight for a long time. In the build-up to fights, people start saying, ‘Yeah, we want the undisputed fight.’ Let’s see if they’ve got that same energy now because Bivol is ready to fight Beterbiev,” said Eddie Hearn to the DAZN Boxing Show.

“I’d like to see Callum Smith vs. Artur Beterbiev, probably in Anfield, the big Liverpool Stadium, in the early summer after Ramadan.

“Dmitry Bivol against Joshua Buatsi in the spring, and then Bivol fights Canelo at 168 for undisputed,” said Hearn.

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