Dmitry Bivol: My goal is unification fights this year!
WBA light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol is in the process of locking in his first fight of 2023. He has been linked to a return against current undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, for later this year, but first has a tentative date in June. It is believed that Jaime Munguia and Joshua Buatsi were also in talks that ultimately came to nothing.
Bivol, The Ring’s No. 1 rated light heavyweight, would welcome the opportunity to face the other titleholder at 175 pounds.
“I have been telling my team, I want to face [Artur] Beterbiev next,” Bivol (21-0, 11 knockouts) told The Ring through manager Vadim Kornilov. “My goal is unification fights this year!”
The 32-year-old stylist admits to engaging in something of a reconnaissance mission when Beterbiev met Anthony Yarde in London in late January.
“I saw some parts of the fight. It was a good fight. Both boxers showed toughness and determination.” Bivol said.
When asked if he learned anything new, he smiled and preferred to keep his powder dry, offering a simple, “Maybe.”
This bout appears unlikely to be next, as Beterbiev, who holds the IBF, WBC and WBO titles, has been ordered to face his WBC mandatory Callum Smith.
Kornilov, famed for guiding Ruslan Provodnikov, Viktor Postol, Radzhab Butaev and Murodjon Akhamdaliev, hopes to get his fighter into the ring this summer and then look at making a fight with Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs).
“We are focused on getting Dmitry back in the ring in June and there are a couple of opponent options,” explained Kornilov. “After that, we will hope that everything aligns for the Beterbiev fight for [the] undisputed [championship]. That is the biggest matchup out there right now, two undefeated boxers, both on the pound-for-pound list.”
Kornilov also welcomes talk of a rematch with Canelo, though is not sure it will happen.
“I do believe that [Promoter] Eddie [Hearn], the fans and DAZN want the rematch,” he said. “There is no doubt this fight is attractive, as this is a fight Canelo clearly lost by majority of the rounds. I am sure Canelo personally wants revenge as well. At the same time, I don’t think Canelo’s team wants this fight and everything will be done to try to avoid this rematch and I don’t blame them.
“Canelo has said in the press that he only lost by a couple of rounds in the fight, then he said he wanted to fight Dmitry next in May and now he is all in. At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words.”
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