By Sean Jones: Dmitry Bivol says he’ll come down to 168 to challenge Jermall Charlo for the undisputed super middleweight championship if he defeats four-belt champion Canelo Alvarez on September 16th.
Jermall capturing the four 168-lb titles would be Bivol’s best chance of fighting for those belts because he’s already shown interest in fighting him.
It’s fair to say that Canelo will never fight Bivol again. For the good of the sport, Jermall needs to beat Canelo so that we see him facing Bivol.
If Jermall defeats Canelo, the two will likely fight a second time unless the Mexican star’s courage abandons him, which some felt was the case after his loss to Bivol last year.
Bivol wants Charlo if he captures undisputed
Canelo needs his four 168-lb titles, so it’s difficult to imagine him not forcing a rematch with Charlo.
The two met up at a fight recently, and Jermall expressed interest in fighting him. However, Bivol didn’t see any point because Jermall didn’t hold any belts at 168.
Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) had hoped to challenge Canelo for his titles at 168 in a rematch, but he says he was never made an offer.
Despite the talks of them fighting again, the negotiations never got off the ground, which some boxing fans see as a sign that Canelo never had any intentions of fighting Bivol again after losing to him last year.
“I hope in September or October. October. If September, I should have been given an offer a couple of weeks ago,” said Dmitry Bivol to Fight Hub TV when asked about his next fight.
“We didn’t talk about Buatsi, but he was my previous potential opponent. I’m ready for anyone in my weight class. I’ll try to be ready for the top ten fighters at light heavyweight.
“I don’t know,” Bivol said when asked where his fight will be staged. “I don’t have a preference. I like to fight everywhere.
“For belt, I’ll move down [to 168]. It doesn’t matter who has this belt. No, only for belt,” said Bivol when asked if there was someone at 168 that he wants to fight. If Charlo wins [against Canelo Alvarez], I would like to fight.
“It’s not like, ‘I want to fight against someone at 168.’ No. I prefer to fight in my weight class. If someone wants, and we have a good offer to move down for a belt, I will do it, but I prefer to fight in my weight class.
Inactivity not a problem
“I hope to be in my training camp for my next fight. This is what I want, to be honest,” said Bivol when asked if he’ll be scouting Artur Beterbiev’s fight against Callum Smith on August 19th.
“Against Yarde? He was a really interesting opponent. I could see he’s progressing. He’s getting better and better, Yarde. He was better than he was against Kovalev. He got a lot of experience in those years. He showed a good side against Beterbiev. He was good until he got punched.
“I was surprised too,” said Bivol about Yarde lasting as long as he did against Beterbiev. “Yarde, he was faster, he moved with his head, he used a lot of jabs, and he got Artur with the jabs.
“Even when he was defending, his defense was good, but he has less experience than Artur and less power than Artur, and he caught him.
“If I say he’s not older, it’s not true. Everyone is getting older,” said Bivol when told that boxing fans are saying that the Yarde fight showed that the 38-year-old Beterbiev is getting older.
“You mean to ask me is he [Beterbiev] getting worse, yeah? For me, I try to give more benefit to Yarde. He’s getting better. He got better, and Artur was on the same level. If I say, ‘Yarde is not a good fighter. Artur is getting worse. He’s older now.’ It’s not good for me.
“This time, it’s not bothering me as much,” said Bivol about his inactivity. “I had a fight seven months ago. It’s fine. I had one and half years [of inactivity] after Covid. It was hard, and now. Last year, I got three fights, and now I’m resting, recovering. It’s okay. One & half years, it’s too much.
“Until one year, it’s fine for my age now. If I’m younger, 25 years old, it’s not good, one year rest. At my age, it’s fine. I’m not old, but I’m older than 25 years. At 30 years, it’s a big difference from 25 years. You have to make your warming up longer when your 30-years-old. Recovery is longer too.
“Now I have much more experience, and I’m more confident than I was when I was 25 years old. 40 years old, no boxing 100%. To be honest, I don’t have an age in my head. With my team, we’re talking about achievement,” said Bivol.