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Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev are finally set to come toe-to-toe in the ring in what will be a blockbuster undisputed light-heavyweight title showdown that is reportedly ‘being planned for June 1 in Saudi Arabia.’
It comes after Beterbiev extended his unbeaten record, which now sits at 20-0-0 by defeating Callum Smith in Quebec City to set up the mouthwatering clash against Bivol.
The 39-year-old stopped Smith in the seventh round of the bout having knocked him down several times in the opening exchanges, landing a whopping 182 punches compared to Smith’s 59.
After retaining his IBF, WBO and WBC light-heavyweight belts, the Russian-born Canadian citizen admitted he was hungry to claim Bivol’s WBA title later this year.
‘I need a fourth belt. It would mean a lot to me,’ he said after defeating Smith. ‘It’s the top. It would mean in this category I have done work.’
A fight between Artur Beterbiev (left) and Dmitry Bivol (right) is reportedly ‘being planned for June 1’
Beterbiev currently holds the IBF, WBC and WBO titles and is looking to claim Bivol’s WBA belt
Bivol recently beat Lyndon Arthur (right) at the ‘Day of Reckoning’ in Saudi Arabia
It is one of the most hotly anticipated meetings in the sport right now and could crown the first-ever four-belt undisputed champion in the light-heavyweight division.
According to Fight Freaks Unite journalist Dan Rafael the mouthwatering fight is ‘being planned for June 1, at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.’
Rafael added: ‘While those involved expect the fight to be finalised it has not been determined whether it will be shown as a pay-per-view or non-PPV.
‘In the United States, it would likely be on an ESPN platform, which is Beterbiev’s broadcaster because he is promoted by its partner Top Rank, one of the sources said.’
His promoter Bob Arum also said that while nothing has been finalised just yet, the fight could take place later in the summer, after Beterbiev has observed the month of Ramadan.
‘It’s not done yet,’ Arum said. ‘But absolutely we want to do it. I’ll be talking to my friend His Excellency [Saudi Advisor] Turki Alalshikh.
‘I know he wants to do it, but Ramadan is coming. So, about three months after the end Ramadan we’ll be ready to fight Dmitry Bivol, probably in Riyadh.’
Bivol, who defeated Canelo Alvarez back in 2022, also recently extended his unbeaten record to 22-0-0 after he beat Lyndon Arthur at the ‘Day of Reckoning’ on December 23.
But he added that Beterbiev could be a harder opponent than Alvarez.
Beterbiev’s promoter Bob Arum had recently stated that the fight could happen later this summer
Bivol believes Beterbiev could be a tougher opponent than Canelo Alvarez, who he beat in 2022
‘To be honest I believe [Beterbiev is] my hardest test,’ Bivol said during an interview on Matchroom boxing’s YouTube channel.
‘He’s physically stronger than Canelo Alvarez and he has good technique too. Many people talk about his power, but they forget about his technique because his power is so much better than his technique, but his technique is still good.
‘He’s very strong. He’s like a stone. His punches are very hard. His body is hard. He believes in himself a lot.
‘He has a lot of amateur experience. It helps him. He uses body shots well. He’s strong. This is one of the important things.’