Dmitry Bivol doesn’t appear any closer to thinking that a rematch with Canelo Alvarez is the most palatable option in his career.
The WBA light heavyweight from Russia scored a mild upset earlier this year when he handed Alvarez, the 168-pound undisputed champion, a unanimous points loss in their 12-round 175-pound title bout in Las Vegas. Since then Bivol has been adamant that his top goal is to fully unify the division. And the only way that can happen is if he can get in the ring with countryman Artur Beterbiev, who holds the IBF, WBC, and WBO titles.
While Bivol is cognizant that a rematch with Alvarez would likely fetch him a lucrative payday, he insisted in a recent interview that he is not solely motivated by money. Bivol said he is also aware that he does not have so many years left in the sport, so an Alvarez rematch may be redundant for him in that respect. Many observers believed Bivol comprehensively defeated Alvarez, despite the close nature of the scorecards.
“It’s a business,” Bivol told FightHubTV. “I have my goal. I want to move forward. I said it before, I don’t have too much time in my career. [I am] 32 years soon. I want to move forward. But it could happen. It’s not the best option if I fight Canelo again, but my priority is for another belt.
“Money is good, but legacy, I think, is better,” Bivol continued. “I love money too. Everybody loves money. But money is not the main thing I’m thinking about when I came to boxing, when I box. I want to make history. If I thought about money I would never be here.”
If a rematch were to happen, it certainly will not occur until late next year. Alvarez (58-2-2, 39 KOs) recently underwent surgery for his left wrist, which he aggravated after his dominant win over Gennadiy Golovkin in their trilogy in September. Alvarez has suggested he would be ready to get back in the ring the following September.
There are, of course, other conditions as well in order for the rematch to remain a possibility. Bivol must get past his next assignment: a title defense against Gilberto Ramirez this Saturday in Abu Dhabi.
A fight with Beterbiev, on the other hand, is likely far more difficult to make. Beterbiev is aligned with Top Rank, which is a rival to Matchroom, the company that co-promotes Bivol. Top Rank head Bob Arum said earlier this year he had little interest in having Beterbiev fight on a Matchroom card, since Matchroom showcases all of its fighters on the streaming platform DAZN, whose seeming middling visibility Arum has consistently denigrated and mocked. Arum’s Top Rank, on the other hand, has an exclusive output deal with ESPN.
Beterbiev is reportedly in talks to face contender Anthony Yarde on Jan. 28 in London.