Dmitry Bivol to fight Anthony Yarde or Dan Azeez in August or September

By Boxing News - 06/20/2023 - Comments

By Charles Brun: WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol will defend against Anthony Yarde or Dan Azeez in his next title defense in August or September.

Although Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) prefers to face the winner of the August 19th fight between IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev & Callum Smith, Hearn says he wants him to fight a Brit.

Yarde (23-3, 22 KOs) lost to Beterbiev last January in a failed title challenge in London, but he was competitive until making a mistake in the eighth, resulting in his getting knocked out.

Hearn feels that Yarde’s effort in that fight was good enough to deserve another title shot. The other contenders in the World Boxing Association’s top 15 probably won’t be happy at seeing Yarde get another crack at a belt, but this is how it goes sometimes.

It’s not sure that Yarde, 31, will fight Bivol because Hearn needs to speak with his promoter George Warren to check whether he’s available and interested in making that fight.

“He wants to fight the winner of [Callum] Smith vs. Beterbiev, but I feel like that fight’s in August, and you’ll probably see him fight in August or early September,” Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn said to iFL TV about Dmitry Bivol’s next fight.

“So I’d like him to fight a Brit, to be honest with you. I’d like him to fight Anthony Yarde, or I’d like him to fight Dan Azeez,” Hearn said about Bivol.

It would be good if Hearn found an American fighter to match Bivol against so that it could help build a rematch between him and Canelo Alvarez for next year.

However, it’s possible that Canelo’s decision to offer Bivol the same contract terms as their first fight could mean that he doesn’t wish to fight him again.

“Yeah, I think Dan Azeez is a free agent, as I understand. So we might be making him an offer to fight Dmitry Bivol,” said Hearn. “Azeez is a great story. He’s built himself up British, Commonwealth, and European champions.”

The 33-year-old Azeez has recent wins over Thomas Faure, Rocky Fielding, and Shakan Pitters. He’s got good power, but his talent isn’t in the same league as Bivol.

“Anthony Yarde is a fight that I think is a tremendous fight for Dmitry Bivol, and he’s earned his shot at another world title fight through that
great performance against Beterbiev.

“So, I think if we’re looking at a British name for Dmitry Bivol,  it’s going to be Azeez or Yarde next,” said Hearn.

YouTube video