Bob Arum: “I Am Not Going To Push A Bivol – Beterbiev Fight”

Bob Arum Sees No Path to a Bivol vs Beterbiev Fight For Now

Bob Arum sides with WBC on Dmitry Bivol vs Artur Beterbiev unification
(L-clockwise) Bob Arum, Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev | credit: Mikey Williams

Bob Arum Sides with WBC On Dmitry Bivol vs Artur Beterbiev Unification

Geopolitics can play a determining factor in whether a matchup happens or not. It seems to be playing a role in whether fans will get to see a match for undisputed status at light heavyweight between WBA champion Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) and unified champion Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs). Recent statements by Top Rank promoter Bob Arum support this notion.

In November 2022, the World Boxing Council ruled that they will not allow Russian and Belarus nationals to fight for any WBC-sanctioned belts due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.


During an appearance on The 3 Knockdown Rule podcast, Bob Arum was questioned if a Beterbiev-Bivol fight would happen this year. The CEO of Top Rank said that the WBC’s order is a roadblock that is preventing that fight from occurring.

“The WBC has made its views known. I am very sympathetic to the WBC views. I am one hundred percent in support of Ukraine and its fight against aggression. So, I am not gonna push a Bivol – Beterbiev fight.”


Some fans will challenge Arum’s stance by citing that both Beterbiev and Bivol are Russian. But here is the distinction. Beterbiev has lived in Canada since the beginning of his professional career and is currently a Canadian citizen. So, technically, Beterbiev is now a Canadian national of Russian origin.

Bivol was born in Kyrgyzstan. But at age eleven, he and his family moved to Russia, where the fighter calls home. To boot, his wife is also Russian. So despite him being Kyrgyzstan, as far as his ethnicity, Bivol is a Russian national.

Since their ruling, the WBC has been consistent and has not budged. No one would have foreseen that the situation with Russia and Ukraine would carry on this long. There seems to be no end in sight. Maybe the leadership could have a meeting of the minds and change their position, but that’s very unlikely.


Fans want to see them fight. It’s a top-tier matchup. There are those who would argue that Beterbiev should forego the WBC title and fight Bivol. But for Arum, that is an option he is not willing to entertain.

After an eight-round stoppage over then-mandatory challenger Anthony Yarde in January 2023, Beterbiev said his goal is to fight Bivol. Unfortunately, it’s not going to happen anytime soon. To say that the situation is complicated is an understatement.

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About Mike W.2035 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for