Dmitry Bivol versus Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed light-heavyweight championship is one of the most sought-after fights in the sport of boxing.
The two 175lbers are undefeated and have answered every challenge the division has put to them.
Bivol has shown the skills of a master-boxer in beating the likes of Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez and Gilberto Ramirez most recently, whilst Beterbiev is the only active world champion who has ended every fight with a stoppage, most recently Anthony Yarde in London.
Both fighters were in Saudi Arabia to watch the Tyson Fury-Francis Ngannou spectacle this past weekend, and came face-to-face.
Bivol-Beterbiev face off 😳
Is this boxing's next big fight? 🤔 (via arturbeterbiev/IG) pic.twitter.com/LZWxIJihTs
— ESPN Ringside (@ESPNRingside) October 28, 2023
Following that meeting, Bivol told Boxing Social he hopes to fight Beterbiev one after next.
“I hope I will have a fight before and then we will fight against the winner of that fight. It will be great.”
Beterbiev though, speaking to Boxing King Media, said that his rival was lying about wanting the fight – as he has done, according to the unified champion, for years.
“He said like this two, three years ago. He wants to fight next with me, but he never fights me. He’s lying.”
He confirmed that he wanted to make it happen, but said it was about Bivol’s WBA belt more than his name on the record.
“Of course. I don’t want to to fight him [specifically.] I need only one thing from him. The belt. That’s it.”
There remains a bigger obstacle in the way in the form of the WBC’s stance on sanctioning Russian fighters. The organisation, therefore, says it will not have its title on the line in a contest including Bivol.
Beterbiev was born in Dagestan, but holds Canadian citizenship. He fights number one contender, Callum Smith, in Quebec on January 13.