Teddy Atlas believes one fighter is simply too good and too unknown to warrant any opponent taking the risk in the ring.
The famed trainer turned analyst has a keen eye on both the sporting and business sides of the game, never one to shy away from how and why decisions are made behind the scenes.
He believes that applied well to current WBA light-heavyweight world champion, Dmitry Bivol, who has not fought since November of 2022.
Asked why by ProBox TV, Atlas said it was because he was ‘too damn good.’
“Because he’s too damn good! And you can’t get rich fighting him, because as much as we know him, nobody else knows him. You walk down the street, good luck trying to find somebody who can tell you who Bivol is. Good luck.”
Bivol kicked off his effort for fighter of the year last year by welcoming super middleweight champion, Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez, back to the 175lbs ranks. Bivol won by unanimous decision, controlling the distance and nullifying Canelo’s skillset from the start.
He followed it up with a win over the tall and rangey Gilberto Ramirez in November, ending a previously undefeated 44-fight win streak for the Mexican.
Atlas said that the Russian simply knows how to box and win, but doesn’t dill arenas.
“Listen, he’s terrific. He’s one of the most complete fighters in the whole game right now. What he did with Canelo – the only travesty of that is that they actually had it as close as they did, but that’s for another story with these crazy judges that we have in this business.
He probably won 11 rounds against Canelo. Look, there are fighters out there that are too good for their own good, because they just know how to do one thing – win and box at an incredible level.
But they don’t necessarily have the charisma, the it factor, whatever you to call it, to fill a lot of seats … And if you don’t have that, well who wants to take a risk fighting a fighter that dangerous?”
Bivol would like nothing more than to unify his title with Artur Beterbiev’s WBO, IBF and WBC, but that doesn’t look to be happening anytime soon.
With a Canelo rematch off the table, it looks like he’ll have to welcome shots from contenders.