Bivol vs. Beterbiev: Boxer vs. Puncher in Saudi Showdown

By Dan Ambrose - 01/23/2024 - Comments

Light heavyweight champions Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev will compete in Saudi Arabia this summer for the undisputed 175-lb championship.

After five years of talking about a Bivol-Beterbiev match-up, it’s finally happening, thanks to the Saudis, who made it profitable enough for the match to occur in their country in June or July.

Mora Favors Bivol’s Boxing Prowess

DAZN commentator Sergio Mora views WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) as being the one that he sees winning the contest, saying that his boxing skills are on another level than IBF, WBC & WBO champ Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs), the more powerful of the two.

“Anytime you have a pure puncher against a pure boxer, I’m always going to favor or lean towards the pure, intelligent boxers,” Mora said to DAZN Boxing.

“Bivol has everything you need to extinguish Beterbiev’s punching power. He has the footwork, he has the jab, he moves laterally left to right, and he stabs you to the body.”

It’s going to require a lot of retreating around the ring for Bivol to have a chance of winning this fight because he’s not going to be able to stay in the pocket like he did in his recent fights against Lyndon Arthur, Gilberto Ramirez, and Canelo Alvarez against Beterbiev.

Bivol will probably hit with a single shot and then retreat immediately to avoid getting nailed by Beterbiev. He will need to sacrifice his combination punching for this fight, which was a significant factor in his wins over Canelo, Lyndon, and Ramirez.

Beterbiev’s Destructive Power Cannot Be Ignored

“He’s comfortable punching at the shoulders, punching at the chest, punching at your forearm,” Mora said about Beterbiev. “That’s why he’s so destructive because he has the gameplan and the discipline all the way out and to wait it out.”

Beterbiev throws mostly headshots and not so much to the body. In his fight with Oleksandr Gvozdyk, he targeted his body because he was getting outboxed by him through the first half of the contest.

By the midway point, Beterbiev seemed to recognize that he needed to do something different, so he stopped targeting Gvozdyk’s head and started spearing him to the body.

Bivol was hurt by a headshot from Arthur last December, and he was also staggered by Joe Smith Jr. Beterbiev will look to take advantage of that weakness to target his head.

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