By Jim Calfa: WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman states that his organization will not sanction the fight between light heavyweight champions Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev.
Sulaiman says that Beterbiev vs. Bivol fight can happen, but it won’t have the WBC title at stake due to the Russia-Ukrainian war. Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) was born in Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan, and lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Unless the war ends soon, boxing fans might not ever get the chance to see the undisputed 175-lb championship fight between IBF, WBC & WBO champion Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) and Bivol.
If Bivol & Beterbiev still want to fight to prove who is the top guy in the division, there will be just as many people that want to see the match as there would be if all four belts were on the line.
Only hardcore boxing fans care about the fight being for the undisputed. To the average person, they see the Bivol-Beterbiv clash as a great fight between the two best at 175, and it won’t bother them that it won’t be for the undisputed championship.
“WBC can not sanction a fight with [WBA light heavyweight champion] Dmitry) Bivol in it,” Mauricio Sulaiman told Izquierdazo about the World Boxing Council’s position towards sanctioning the undisputed 175-lb championship between the unbeaten WBA champ Bivol and IBF/WBC/WBO unified champion Beterbiev.
“That is because of our position with Russia (and the ongoing war with Ukraine], WBC would not accept that fight. Exactly,” said Sulaiman about the WBC 175lb belt not being at stake if Bivol fights Beterbiev.
Recently, Bivol’s manager Vadim Kornilov said that a fight between Dmitriy and Beterbiev wouldn’t happen right now because, financially, the money isn’t there to justify a match of this magnitude.
Kornilov stated they were negotiating a fight with Jaime Munguia for Bivol and potentially facing Canelo Alvarez in a rematch in September.
Bivol is arguably coming off the best year of his career in 2022, having successfully defended his WBA 175-lb title twice, beating Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez and Canelo in one-sided fights.
The WBC has ordered Beterbiev to defend against his mandatory Callum Smith (29-1, 21 KOs). That fight is expected to happen next.
“Until today, that is the position of the WBC. As long as there is no boxing in Ukraine, we will not accept boxing in Russia. At least, not sanctioned by the WBC,” said Suliman.
“Beterbiev has to fight with his WBC mandatory rival, Callum Smith,” Sulaiman said.