Dmitry Bivol is willing to do whatever it takes to secure one of the light heavyweight title unification fights he wants.
Eddie Hearn, whose company is one of three promoters with which Bivol works, told BoxingScene.com that Bivol wants to fight the winner of the Artur Beterbiev-Oleksandr Gvozdyk bout as soon as possible in 2020. Bivol would be more than willing, according to Hearn, to face the Beterbiev-Gvozdyk victor on ESPN as well.
Russia’s Beterbiev (14-0, 14 KOs), the IBF light heavyweight champ, and Ukraine’s Gvozdyk (17-0, 14 KOs), the WBC champ, are set to fight Friday night in Philadelphia. ESPN, the network with which Beterbiev and Gvozdyk are affiliated through promoter Top Rank, will televise their 12-round, 175-pound championship unification match live from Temple University’s Liacouras Center.
Bivol’s last two bouts have been carried by DAZN, the streaming service for which Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing is the primary content provider. The WBA light heavyweight champion’s second victory on DAZN took place Saturday night in Chicago, where Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) dropped Dominican contender Lenin Castillo (20-3-1, 15 KOs) in the sixth round and easily out-boxed him to win a 12-round unanimous decision at DePaul University’s Wintrust Arena.
Hearn emphasized that those competing network and streaming associations wouldn’t prevent Bivol from facing the Beterbiev-Gvozdyk winner.
“We’ll see what happens with Gvozdyk-Beterbiev,” Hearn told BoxingScene.com. “I would have no problem putting him in with the winner of that fight. If they wanna do it on ESPN, no problem at all, because I think it’s the right fight. I want Dmitry Bivol to actually achieve a legacy in this sport, and to do that, you’ve gotta be in those kinds of fights.”
Hearn mentioned the possibility of Bivol boxing WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev as well. Kovalev, of course, has more pressing business – a showdown with Mexican middleweight star Canelo Alvarez on November 2 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Hearn also noted that Bivol’s next fight likely will take place in South Korea. Main Events, another of the three promoters that works with Bivol, has been exploring the possibility of Bivol, a Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan, defending his title there because Bivol is half Korean.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.