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Dmitry Bivol vs. Artur Beterbiev won’t happen this year says Bob Arum

Image: Dmitry Bivol vs. Artur Beterbiev won't happen this year says Bob Arum

By Sean Jones: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum says he will not look to make the undisputed light heavyweight championship fight between his fighter Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol this year because of the WBC’s current ban on Russian athletes.

Arum says he’s in favor of the WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman’s decision not to sanction fights involving Russian fighters and that he “100% support Ukraine.”

Some fans believe that another reason why Arum doesn’t want to make the Beterbiev-Bivol fight is because of the high probability that Beterbiev lose to the highly skilled Bivol, who is younger and has excellent defensive skills.

Those fans believe that if Bivol were Arum’s fighter, he’d push the WBC like mad to make the fight and create an angry fuss if he didn’t get his way.

Although Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) isn’t Russian, he’s being lumped in with them by the World Boxing Council, and they’re not refusing to sanction fights involving him for their belt. Bivol is from Kyrgyzstan. Beterbiev is from Russia, but WBC has no problem with him because he lives in Canada now.

What this means for Bivol is that he only has one option for a big fight, and that’s against Canelo Alvarez, who has already told him that if he wants a rematch in September, he’ll need to agree to the exact same terms as their bout a year ago. No change.

That’s good for Canelo because there will be more interest and money to be made in the second fight, but it’s bad for Bivol because he won’t profit from it, even though he defeated Canelo in their previous fight.  Bivol will have to agree to Canelo’s conditions or continue fighting the obscure contenders at 175 and make little money from those fights.

“The WBC has made its views known; I am very sympathetic to the WBC’s views, and I 100% support Ukraine and its fight against aggression. So, I am not going to push a Bivol-Beterbiev fight,” said Bob Arum to the 3 Knockdown Rule about his not to make a fight between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol this year.

“You may say, ‘Well, isn’t Beterbiev Russian?’ and the answer is, no, not really. He has had a residential visa in Canada for fourteen years, so I look at him as being Canadian.

I don’t want to do anything that supports Russia in any way, so I applaud [WBC president Mauricio [Sulaiman] for the position that he has taken,” said Arum.

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