Artur Beterbiev Wants Dmitry Bivol Undisputed Match Above All Else!
When it comes to what and who they want next, Team Beterbiev is perfectly in sync. When Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KO’s) slid through the ropes to face Joe Smith Jr, he was already a unified champion. On November 11, 2017 he pummeled Enrico Koelling into a late stoppage to first plunder the vacant IBF strap.
Two years later, on October 18, 2019, the rough-knuckled Russian knocked out Oleksandr Gvozdyk to pirate his WBC title. Joe Smith Jr was run over and was strong-armed for his belt by the same freight train even more quickly than the previous two. Now, with Smith Jr crossed off his hit list, or more appropriately, Smith’s WBO belt, Beterbiev and crew are only focused on snagging the last title needed to become undisputed. To do so, he must face Super WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (20-0, 11 KO’s).
THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!
The current situation will really test the notion of who is in control of the fights: the fighters or the promoters? Despite Team Beterbiev openly chasing the Bivol match, the fight pushers seem to have radically different road maps. This is because Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who pushes Beterbiev, would love for him to fight Anthony Yarde (22-2, 21 KO’s).
Yarde’s promoter, Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotion, is on the same page with Arum. Yet Beterbiev and his chief second, Marc Ramsey, are going in the polar opposite direction. Well at least that’s how it sounded in a recent interview with Fight Hype.
“There is no comparison in terms of motivation for [our] team to fight Yarde or to fight Bivol. It’s never personal, it’s not about name, it’s not about Yarde. Yarde is a great fighter, it’s about belt! It’s not about money, it’s about belt. If you ask Artur today if he wants want to fight Canelo [Alvarez] or Bivol, even if Canelo brings more money, still today we want to fight Bivol because he owns that fourth belt…this is what motivates our team.”
Since the unified champion and his powerhouse promoter are clearly singing different songs, it’ll be very interesting to see who Beterbiev actually dances with next!
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By: Bakari Simpson