By Sean Jones: Eddie Hearn has reportedly started negotiations for a June undisputed clash between WBA champion Dmitry Bivol and IBF, WBC & WBO champ Artur Beterbiev for Abdu Dhabi.
Hearn is also interested in matching Bivol (21-0, 12 KOs) against #1 WBA Joshua Buatsi, one of the British promoter’s Matchroom Boxing stable fighters that he’s mentioned repeatedly as the guy that he prefers as Dmitry’s next opponent.
Given Hearn’s huge interest in making the Bivol vs. Buatsi fight next, that would seem to be the logical bout that we’ll see in April or May. Beterbiev would be the ideal fight for Bivol, but it’s unlikely.
Beterbiev has Ramadan until April 21st, and it’s not realistic that he’ll be ready to fight Bivol in June.
Bivol vs. Buatsi WON’T interest U.S fans
Buatsi, 29, fights on DAZN, so it’s a less complicated fight to put together. Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) is with Top Rank and fights on ESPN, so to put a fight together with him would involve a dual network match unless DAZN or ESPN is willing to let only one network show the match.
American boxing fans are not going to be interested in seeing Bivol fight Buatsi. That’s a fight exclusively for British audiences because U.S. fans have no idea who Buatsi is, and they will NOT be interested in seeing Bivol fight an obscure fighter with an inflated resume, filled with nothing but mediocre opposition.
It doesn’t matter that Buatsi competed in the 2016 Olympics for Great Britain. Americans don’t know who he is and won’t want to see him fight this guy.
Bivol’s next fight is crucial because he’s expected to fight his long-awaited rematch against Canelo, who has been dragging his feet since he was whipped last May by Dmitry at his favorite haunt, the T-Mobile in Las Vegas.
Outstanding options for Bivol’s next fight
The fans in the States want to see Bivol fight these killers:
- David Benavidez
- Artur Beterbiev
- David Morrell
- Jermall Charlo
- Demetrius Andrade
- Jaime Munguia
If Hearn is going to try and talk Bivol into taking the fight with Buatsi, he needs to be assertive about it and let him know flat-out that he’s not interested in wasting a fight against a guy that U.S fans have never heard of.
You already got Canelo fighting an obscure British fighter in John Ryder in Mexico. That fight likely wouldn’t sell in the U.S. or the UK. Hence, Canelo is taking the Ryder fight over to Mexico and taking a pay cut.
It’s unlikely that DAZN is willing to pay Bivol top dollar for a fight against Buatsi because it won’t bring in a lot of new subscribers, and you can argue that it’s vital that the streaming giant get fans to subscribe right now because a lot of people are jumping ship after the price hikes in the memberships.