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Beterbiev Disputes Eddie Hearn’s Claims Of Bivol Signing To Fight Him In Saudi Arabia

Beterbiev Disputes Eddie Hearn's Claims Of Bivol Signing To Fight Him In Saudi Arabia featured image
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 05: Dmitrill Bivol celebrates victory with Frank Smith (L) and Eddie Hearn (R) of Matchroom boxing after the WBA Super World Light Heavyweight Title fight between Dmitrii Bivol and Gilberto Ramirez at Etihad Arena on November 05, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

During the post-match press conference following Artur Beterbiev’s success against Callum Smith on January 13th, Beterbiev placed doubts on Eddie Hearn’s recent statements which supposedly confirmed Bivol had signed on to fight Beterbiev. The two Russian-born fighters are currently the only two world champions in the light-heavyweight division which would make an eventual fight between them an undisputed match. However, despite Bivol and Beterbiev having been champions for a number of years, a fight between them has yet to emerge.

In an interview with Boxing News, Eddie Hearn seemed to hint at the possibility of this light-heavyweight undisputed bout finally occurring after revealing that Dmitry Bivol (22-0, 11 KO’s) had signed his part of the contract―which was apparently partially crafted by the same Saudi Arabia’s government institution of the General Entertainment Authority (GEA). with Turki Al-Sheikh at the helm. The GEA had previously helped organize, promote and fund the ‘Day of Reckoning’ event, and a previous October event headlined by Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou.

The plan was for Dmitry Bivol to fight in an undisputed fight,Hearn said.

That fight that they [the Saudi’s] like is Beterbiev against Bivol. From our point of view, with Bivol, he has already signed to fight Artur Beterbiev.

Eddie Hearn also revealed that Callum Smith (29-2, 21 KO’s) might have filled Beterbiev’s spot if he came out on January 13th, but in lieu of his technical knockout (TKO) loss to Beterbiev it is now expected that the two Russians will face each other in the ring this year.

It should be noted that there has been no confirmation by Bivol or his team on whether they signed to fight Beterbiev, and Hearn’s own words did not outright confirm this was the case either. However, Bivol did clearly state his intentions to fight Beterbiev following his December 23rd fight against Lyndon Arthur.

When I signed the contract for this [Lyndon Arthur] fight, Saudi [GEA] was interested to make great fight,Bivol said when asked on a potential fight with Beterbiev.

They [GEA] want to make great fights for boxing fans, and the undisputed fight in the light-heavyweight division, they want this fight.

Bivol also confirmed he wanted the winner of the Beterbiev-Smith fight: “I want winner. It’s not personal, I just want who wins. I want that guy.

Artur Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KO’s) himself appears to have no knowledge of any agreement with the GEA to fight Dmitry Bivol.

No, I don’t know that,” Beterbiev responded during the post-match press conference following his fight against Smith when asked whether he was approached by GEA.

Nobody tell me dates, names, like he [Dmitry Bivol] only tell [that] but I don’t believe him. He not good guy, I believe.

Bob Arum. co-founder and CEO of Top Rank and Beterbiev’s promoter, also confirmed that there was currently no deal in place but all the involved parties were apparently still working on making the undisputed light-heavyweight fight happen.

No, it’s not done yet but absolutely we want to do it,” Arum said during the in-ring post-fight interview that he and Beterbiev held with ESPN.

I’ll be talking to my friend, his Excellency, Turki Al-Sheikh. I know he wants to do it but Ramadan. Ramadan ends sometime in the middle of April, so about three months after the end of Ramadan we’ll be ready to fight Bivol, probably in Riyadh.