Dmitry Bivol put on a dominant performance against previously undefeated Gilberto Ramirez to retain his light heavyweight title and put him firmly in the conversation for fighter of the year.
With that victory logged, Bivol wants nothing more than to face Artur Beterbiev, pitting his WBA belt against the WBC, WBO, and IBF. The fight would crown an undisputed light heavyweight champion for the first time since Roy Jones Jr ruled the ring. Unfortunately for Bivol, Beterbiev looks to be facing Anthony Yarde in early 2023.
Bivol’s promoter, Eddie Hearn, has a solution for that, and it all starts with a rematch against Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez. Bivol beat Canelo convincingly in May this year in what was an ambitious but ill-judged jump up in weight for the Mexican superstar. He has, however, been confident of a victory in a second fight. Boxing Social captured Hearn’s plan, which includes a lot of belts.
“It’s pretty obvious Dmitry Bivol’s about legacy and about belts, and he wants to become undisputed – that is his absolute main focus. Obviously from my side, we want to make the biggest fights possible. The Canelo Álvarez rematch is a very big fight, but the priority for Dmitry is to be undisputed.
However, if Beterbiev fights Yarde in January of February and then goes into Ramadan, he probably wouldn’t be ready to fight Dmitry until June, July, whatever. So, we have to look as a team.
We also talk about the possibility of Dmitry fighting Canelo at 168 for undisputed. I mean, he could fight Canelo Álvarez at 168 for undisputed, if he won that fight, he could fight Beterbiev in his next fight for undisputed at 175 – become two-time undisputed champion in two fights.”
At that point, Bivol broke into a grin and said ‘wow’ before telling Hearn to stop getting carried away – although he did later say that the plan sounded good.
That’s different from actioning it though, and there’s no telling whether or not the already-lean fighter could make 168lb, or what it might do to his performance. With a career spent at light heavy, and looking comfortable with the 175 pounders, it might just be a step too far.
With Canelo out just now to recover from hand surgery, and despite the ambitious plans, the future for Bivol isn’t as clear as he would like just yet.