Home Boxing News Dmitry Bivol wants unification, but first Lyndon Arthur on December 23

Dmitry Bivol wants unification, but first Lyndon Arthur on December 23

Dmitry Bivol

WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol 21-0 (11) has reaffirmed his desire to face WBC, WBO and IBF 175-pound champion Artur Beterbiev 19-0 (19) but insists he is not overlooking Lyndon Arthur 23-1 (16).

The 32-year-old Russian has long dreamed of becoming the undisputed champ, but first he must get past Britain’s Arthur, 32, on the huge card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on December 23.

“I’m so appreciative of Saudi Arabia for making this fight and I’m glad that I have such a good opponent in Lyndon Arthur,” Bivol said.

“Many times your colleagues from the UK ask me about this fighter, what I think about him. He’s a good guy and he’s tall, he has good experience and it’s a good challenge for me right now.”

Bivol burst into the boxing public’s conscience when he made light work of undisputed super middleweight champion and Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 60-2-02 (39), winning by unanimous decision in Las Vegas, Nevada on May last year.

He backed up this performance with another decision win, this time against previously undefeated Mexican southpaw Gilberto ‘Zurdo’ Ramirez 45-1 (30) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last November.

Bivol has not boxed since, but said the time away from the ring hasn’t bothered him.

“To be honest, [it has not affected me] too much because for me it was like a couple of months because I was always busy and at this age, more than 30, I think it’s fine to have this,” Bivol said.

“If it’s the beginning of my career it would be harder.

“I want to show my people from Kyrgyzstan, from Russia who know me, that if you train hard you can achieve something.

“I’m still going to my goal to be undisputed and this is a small step and I hope we will make a good fight. I believe that I should win.”

Boxing politics and promotional rivalries have prevented Bivol’s dream fight with 38-year-old Russian Beterbiev taking place so far, but the WBA champ remains hopeful it can happen in the future. Bivol is promoted by Matchroom Boxing who have a broadcast deal with DAZN, while Beterbiev is promoted by Top Rank who have a broadcast deal with ESPN.

Beterbiev has his own tough assignment on January 13 when he takes on former WBA super middleweight champion Callum ‘Mundo’ Smith 29-1 (21) at Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Canada.

“I don’t know many people who made it 10 times [world title defences],” Bivol said. “But I’m not thinking about how many times I did it to be honest, you know?

“I just have some goal in my head. I want to be undisputed. And I’m just moving, moving, moving.

“And then somebody goes ‘you made seven defences’ or ‘you made 10’ or ‘you’re the best fighter of the year’ or, you know, people now recognise you, but I’m still somewhere to my goal [of becoming undisputed].”