Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, who promotes IBF, WBC light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KOs), says a unification with WBA champion Dmitry Bivol is very possible for 2020.
Last Friday night in Philadelphia, Beterbiev broke down and stopped undefeated Oleksandr Gvozdyk to unify the WBC, IBF titles.
After the bout, Bivol expressed his desire to unify with Beterbiev.
But Beterbiev is first obligated to make a mandatory defense of the IBF world title against Meng Fanlong of China.
That fight will happen first - and then Bivol will be the target.
“We are looking at the winner of the fight between Kovalev and [Canelo] Alvarez. But Alvarez is unlikely to fight with Beterbiev. We also know about the desire to fight by Bivol. He will have priority, and after defending the IBF title [against Meng] we can organize such a fight in 2020,” said Arum to tass.
Two weeks ago in Chicago, Bivol returned to the ring and dominated Lenin Castillo over twelve rounds.
The network issues can be worked out, as Bivol's co-promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom, said that he would allow his boxer to fight Beterbiev on ESPN. Beterbiev is aligned to ESPN, as the network has an exclusive deal with the boxer's promoter, Top Rank.
“Beterbiev showed that he can work very well and that he is well prepared for this kind of event,” Bivol told tass. “Gvozdyk started well, and there were ideas to neutralize Beterbiev’s right hand. And in the middle of the fight, Beterbiev even seemed to be tired. However, several serious punches to the body created serious damage to Gvozdyk.
“Of course, there is a desire to fight [Beterbiev]. The fact that he now has two belts will intrigue me."
Bivol has 17 wins (11 by knockout) and not a single defeat.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org