Dmitry Bivol Eyeing Callum Smith Showdown
By: Hans Themistode
No one is waiting in line to face WBA Light Heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol, but that hasn’t stopped him from calling out big name fighters to face him. Even those in other divisions.
Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) has put together a solid championship run. Beating the likes of Jean Pascal, Joe Smith Jr and Sullivan Barrera amongst others. Facing no hopers isn’t on the mind of Bivol though. He’s more interested in facing other title holders. But with unified Light Heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev tied up due to mandatory obligations, that leaves very little on the table for Bivol in his next contest.
That statement might be true at 175, but at 168, everything is wide open.
“I think it could be a great fight for Britain fans and for Russian fans,” said Bivol to Chris Lloyd on the Matchroom boxing podcast The Lockdown Tapes, when asked about a matchup with WBA Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith. “For boxing, it’s a good fight because he’s a champion at 168 pounds, and I am the champion at 175. I would like to fight against the best fighters in the world, and he’s now one of these guys who’s the best.”
In a perfect world, the 6 feet 3 Smith (27-0, 19 KOs) would move up in weight, but boxing is far from perfect and Smith seems just fine campaigning one weight class below. The seven pound difference isn’t an issue for Bivol though. He’s never been known as a big Light Heavyweight and his last fight proved it.
“[It’s] better at 175 because this is my weight. But I can move to 168. It’s not a problem for me, I think, because my last fight on the [weigh-in] day, I had breakfast before I weighed in. And I don’t feel thirsty on this day. I think I have a reserve to make [168 pounds].”
At first glance, a matchup between Bivol and Smith might come off as awkward. The two have never been seen in the same arena against one another, never mind the same ring. At least in the pros. In the amateurs however, these two are all too familiar with one another.
“It was in Hungary. To be honest, I don’t remember this fight at all because when we fight each other, for me it was just a guy from Great Britain, just a tall guy who has good skills. But I have to beat him. Only like that, my memories.”
If Bivol gets his wish, he’ll get his chance to replay that memory one more time.
Dmitry Bivol Offers to Drop Down in Weight for Canelo Clash
By: Hans Themistode
With Canelo Alvarez presumably in need of a new opponent for his first ring appearance of the year, WBA Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, has attempted to throw his name into the mix.
Before COVID-19, placed a stranglehold on the entire sports world, WBO Super Middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders scored the golden ticket. For Saunders however, it wasn’t COVID-19 that got in his way for his dream contest, but it was actually himself.
During this worldwide pandemic, Saunders thought it would be funny to post a video telling men how to physically abuse their spouse.
Saunders found it hilarious, but no one else did as his boxing license was immediately suspended. Now that he might have taken himself out of the mix, Bivol wants to replace him.
“I’ve said now for over a year that I’m ready, willing and able to move down to super middleweight and fight Canelo,” said Bivol. “I have been training throughout the COVID-19 crisis and have watched on social media that Canelo has as well.”
“I know that my team and Golden Boy Promotions have discussed this option. We are willing to make the fight on very reasonable financial terms. My team understands that unlike many other opponents, my goal is not the payday, but to face the best in boxing today. I know I can beat him and the real rewards will come after this fight.”
Even before Saunders was penciled in as an opponent, many of the top names in the sport turned Alvarez down. Opportunities such as facing a pound for pound great fighter in his prime don’t come often. But for fighters such as WBA Super Middleweight champ Callum Smith, the money just wasn’t enough. Bivol though, is willing to take a discount.
Don’t misunderstand Bivol’s point of view. Sure he wants to get paid, we all do, don’t we? But if he can lock down a fight with Alvarez and actually pull off the win, he’ll find himself swimming in cash in no time.
Bivol has a slight eye on the gold at the end of the Canelo rainbow. But more importantly, if he does land the mega showdown, he’ll finally have a career defining fight.
“We are willing to work out a much more reasonable deal than what was paid to Canelo’s recent opponents to make this fight. For Dmitry it’s more about the opportunity to dethrone one of the very best fighters in the world.”
“I have heard that DAZN and all other parties involved are supportive of this fight. But whenever the name is brought up to Canelo, he says he would never do it. However I don’t know how much truth there is to this. It would be great to know if he is ready to fight other top champions in his division. One’s that are on the same network and are ready to make a simple and appropriate deal. I strongly believe that Dmitry Bivol at Super Middleweight is the toughest test for Canelo.”
“Dmitry wants to fight the best and Canelo is all the way at the top of that list right now. This fight will have to happen sooner or later. The fans want to see a fight where Canelo will really be tested.”