Bob Arum of Top Rank has revealed that the undisputed light heavyweight championship between champions Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev will be on free television on June 1st in the U.S. and Canada, courtesy of Excellency Turki Alalshikh.
Date: June 1st
Titles: WBA, WBC, IBF & WBO light heavyweight world titles
Broadcast: ESPN (USA).
Arum says the Bivol vs. Beterbiev fight couldn’t have happened without the Saudi’s involvement because of the money the fighters would want. It couldn’t be shown on PPV because it was not a PPV-worthy fight, as neither fighter is a household name with casual boxing fans.
A Dream Matchup Realized
Hardcore fans are excited at seeing the unbeaten WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) and IBF/WBC/WBO champ Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) finally meeting after all these years.
“It’s happening on June 1st. It’s a terrific fight, and the only reason it was able to happen is because the Saudis financed it,” said Bob Arum to Fight Hub TV, talking about the undisputed light heavyweight championship between Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol.
“You couldn’t do it on PPV, but it’ll be put on June 1st in Riyadh. We’ve arranged with His Excellency that the fight will be distributed on free television on ESPN in the U.S. and Canada,” said Arum.
“This is an example of a fight you couldn’t do in normal times because the fighters would want a lot of money for that fight, but how can the promoter get back the money he promises? It’s impossible.
“As big of a fight as it [Bivol vs. Beterbiev] is, it’s not a PPV fight. You’ve got a Chechnyan guy [Beterbiev] who lives in Canada and a Russian [Bivol]. So, for a real die-in-the-wood boxing fan, it’s a tremendous attraction. But for the public at large, it’s an interesting fight, period,” said Arum.