By Luke Furman
IBF light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev (13-0, 13 KOs) was a very interested party last Saturday night, as he watched Sergey Kovalev reclaim the WBO world title with a dominant twelve round unanimous decision over Eleider Alvarez.
The fight was a rematch of a contest which took place in August 2018, when Alvarez knocked out Kovalev (33-3-1, 28 KOs) in seven rounds.
The victory works in Beterbiev's favor, because a unification with Alvarez would have been a difficult fight to put together - because they share the same head trainer in Marc Ramsay.
The two Russian fighters have a rivalry that's played out for a long time.
Beterbiev twice defeated Kovalev when they were at the amateur level.
Kovalev claims that he was robbed in both fights - which is something Beterbiev disputes.
When Kovalev was defeated by Alvarez, Beterbiev saw no reason for the two of them to collide.
But now, things have changed.
"Now he has a belt," Beterbiev said to TVA Sports.
"I also have a belt. This is the right time to do a unification fight. Come on, let's do it. Let's do it, Kovalev. "
In the past, there were also political walls that prevented their showdown.
That is no longer the case, because both boxers have multi-fight agreements with Top Rank - which allows them to collide on ESPN.
Promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events, who handle Kovalev, believes there is a good possibility of this contest taking place.
"We have an agreement with Top Rank and I am told that Beterbiev has signed a contract with them too, so it facilitates the organization of this unification fight. This is a strong possibility and Sergey has wanted this fight for a long time," said Duva.
Beterbiev is slated to fight on ESPN in the coming months and Cuba's Sullivan Barrera is being named as the possible opponent.
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org