Beterbiev-Bivol clash set for June in Saudi Arabia


The long-awaited Artur Beterbiev-Dmitry Bivol undisputed light heavyweight championship fight is set for June 1 in Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom’s Chairman of General Entertainment Authority, Turki Alalshikh, announced Saturday on “The MMA Hour.”

Beterbiev, the WBO, WBC and IBF champion at 175 pounds, is ESPN’s No. 1-ranked light heavyweight and No. 7 pound-for-pound boxer.

Bivol, who owns a victory over boxing’s top star, Canelo Alvarez, holds the WBA title. Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 2-ranked light heavyweight and No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer.

Alalshikh said the previously announced series of five fights between Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing stable and Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions will take place on the undercard.

Beterbiev, 39, and Bivol, 33, both hail from Russia, though Beterbiev now lives in Quebec. That’s where he returned last month with a seventh-round TKO victory over former super middleweight champion Callum Smith, a win that kept him on a collision course with Bivol.

The victory came in Beterbiev’s first action since January 2023, when he scored a seventh-round TKO over Anthony Yarde.

Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) is boxing’s only champion with a 100% KO ratio.

Bivol, though, owns the most impressive win between the pair with his May 2022 decision victory over Alvarez. It was a dominant performance that displayed Bivol’s elite jab, footwork and ring IQ.

Beterbiev also possesses an excellent jab and is arguably boxing’s most dangerous picker.

The matchup is among the most anticipated in the history of the light heavyweight division and presents a fascinating clash of styles: Bivol is a classical boxer; Beterbiev is a boxer-puncher.

Bivol’s last fight came in December in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he scored a shutout decision over Lyndon Arthur.

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