“This is going to be one of the biggest fights that can happen in boxing,” says the Bivol promoter.
See the original article to view embedded media.
Ten laps while we wonder as this weekend brings us one step closer to Katie Taylor-Amanda Serrano II…
10. How important is the undisputed title for Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol? That will likely decide whether this fight will happen in 2023 — or ever. After his KO win over Anthony Yarde last weekend, Beterbiev demanded a showdown with Bivol.
“I want Bivol,” said Beterbiev. “Right now it’s everything. In this fight we have four belts. It’s a really good fight I think.”
In a statement to S.I, Vadim Kornilov, Bivol’s promoter says Bivol is excited for the fight. “This is going to be one of the biggest fights that can happen in boxing,” says Kornilov. “They’ve eliminated the division between the two and there aren’t many intriguing matchups out there anymore. Let’s make it happen.”
There is no doubt that Beterbiev-Bivol is a marquee fight. But it faces several problems. timing is one. Beterbiev, a Muslim, will observe Ramadan between mid-March and mid-April and will postpone his next fight until the summer. Bivol prefers to fight earlier, with a possible rematch with Canelo Alvarez looming in September.
Then there is money. Beterbiev-Bivol is a big fight. But it’s not a money fight. Bivol has made about $5 million in each of his last two fights, winning over Alvarez and Gilberto Ramirez. He will expect at least as much if not more to face Beterbiev. Similarly, Beterbiev will expect prize money in the low seven figures to put his titles on the line against Bivol.
The reality is that the money is not there. Not in the US, where neither is a significant tie. Not in Canada, where Beterbiev lives and trains. A fight between Beterbiev and Bivol would draw crowds in Montreal, but the live gate wouldn’t generate anywhere near the money needed to support that fight. And as good as a fight is, it dies on pay-per-view. And in Russia, no major fighting will be sanctioned while it is at war with Ukraine.
The best chance of Beterbiev-Bivol happening is for a Middle Eastern country, either Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, to step in and foot the bill. you have previously; The Saudis have staged two fights with Anthony Joshua and Bivol defended his title against Gilberto Ramirez in Abu Dhabi last year. Perhaps a fight between Beterbiev and Bivol will pique their interest.
If not, the fight will not take place. Not in ’23 and maybe never. Beterbiev will likely be heading for a mandatory title defense against Callum Smith, the former 168-pound champion. Kornilov and Golden Boy officials have discussed a fight between Bivol and Jaime Munguia which is an attractive US show. It’s a disappointing but unfortunate reality of business.
9. Gilberto Ramirez and Gabriel Rosado are nearing a deal for the two to meet in a light heavyweight matchup in March, sources said S.I. Ramirez (44-1) suffered a decision loss to Dmitry Bivol last November. Rosado (26-16-1) has lost three fights in a row since an upset win over Bektemir Melikuzievin in 2021 and will make his light heavyweight debut. Rosado, 37, is training again with Freddie Roach for this fight and believes reuniting with Roach will prepare him for the high-volume Ramirez.
“I know Zurdo very well,” says Rosado. “We have fought each other for the past four years. He was my main sparring partner when I hit [Melikuziev]. He’s a great champion, a strong, big guy. It’s just one of those fights where I see the drama. I see the action in this type of fight. It’s one of those fights where I know I have to do my best. I can’t do it halfheartedly. I feel like now is the time to fight him.”
8. There remains optimism that deals for the expected showdown between Ryan Garcia and Gervonta “Tank” Davis can be finalized soon, sources said S.I. But the two sides have hit a snag in recent days that has required additional work. A source close to Garcia recounted S.I The ongoing issue came with a rematch clause. Both sides continue to work, hoping that they can solve the problem in the next few days.
Commenting on Davis’ upcoming hit-and-run trial, which is set to begin in mid-February, Golden Boy CEO Oscar De La Hoya said S.I He was assured that the result will not affect the timing of the fight.
“I don’t know the details of the process,” says De La Hoya. “But we have been assured that everything will be fine. We were assured that there was a green light. Ryan Garcia-Gervonta Davis takes place on April 15thth.”
7. Speaking of Davis-Garcia, I am told that both fighters are enrolled in the voluntary anti-doping program. Garcia was tested on Jan. 5, a sample that came back negative, according to a letter from VADA received by S.I. Garcia and his trainer, Joe Goossen, relocated to Miami from Southern California to prepare for this fight.
6. Deontay Wilder has to retire. In a recent interview with ESNews, Wilder was asked for a prediction on the upcoming heavyweight unification fight between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk. “It’s a 50-50 fight for me,” Wilder said. “You just never know until you get there. Depends on who’s going to cheat the hardest. That’s it, it depends on who’s going to cheat the hardest.”
Wilder’s comments are embarrassing. Since the first loss to Fury, he has fallen down a rabbit hole of conspiracies, accusing Fury of tampering with his gloves and his own trainer, Mark Breland, of spiked his drink. Now he’s attacking Usyk, a former Olympic gold medalist with no history of cheating. I’ve spent a lot of time with Wilder over the years. I was in Alabama. I’ve had lengthy interviews with him at the S.I Offices in New York. I always thought him a man of high character. But that is beneath his dignity, and if he continues, his own reputation will be irrevocably tarnished.
5. If you need more proof that sanctioning bodies are either corrupt or incompetent, check out the December WBA welterweight rankings. Fourteenth sat George Ashie, a fringed junior welterweight contender who had once fought over 140lbs prior to last Saturday’s KO loss to Alexis Rocha. Rocha, a career-long welterweight who had a five-fight win streak en route to the fight with Ashie, was not in the WBA rankings. It’s an inexplicable — and unjustifiable — decision that should tell you how much to invest in these ratings.
4. Amanda Serrano will seek to become Puerto Rico’s first undisputed champion – male or female – when she challenges Erika Cruz for 126-pound supremacy. However, the stakes are even greater, financially at least, with representatives from Serrano and Katie Taylor finalizing a deal that will see Taylor and Serrano meet in a rematch this spring. If Taylor-Serrano can’t be decided definitively, Alycia Baumgardner, who will be fighting for the undisputed 130-pound championship on undercard Serrano-Cruz, is the leading contender against Taylor.
3. Speaking of misbehaving sanctioning bodies, WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman told reporters this week that Bivol would need to apply for an exemption if he wanted to face Beterbiev for the WBC belt. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the WBC banned fighters from Russia and Belarus from fighting for their titles.
This is of course absurdly hypocritical. Beterbiev Is Russian. He has dual Canadian citizenship but was born in Dagestan and has represented Russia throughout his amateur career. The idea that he’s less Russian because he lives in the Montreal area is absurd. By the logic of the WBC, if Bivol went out and became a citizen of, say, Fiji, he would clearly be fighting for a WBC belt. Or whether he was leaning into his Korean heritage. The hypocrisy is maddening.
2. Shoutout to Tom Loeffler, who is quickly becoming one of the best club show promoters in boxing. Loeffler held one of his Hollywood Fight Night Tickets at the Quiet Cannon Country Club in Montebello, California last weekend and it was great. Serhii Bohachuk, a once-beaten 154-pound contender, scored a KO win over Nathaniel Gallimore in the main event of a competitive map. Club shows are the lifeblood of boxing; Here young fighters can stay active, create a CV and above all earn money. Loeffler and Lou DiBella, who has been putting on club shows in New York for years, are two of the best at it.
1. If you missed Thursday’s David Benavidez-Caleb Plant press conference, you missed a lot. There’s no love lost between Benavidez and Plant, PBC stablemates who have orbited each other for years. Plant repeatedly referenced cocaine use — a not-so-subtle swipe at Benavidez for testing positive for cocaine in 2018, which led to him being stripped of his super middleweight title — while safety twice stopped Benavidez from advancing on Plant’s podium . This fight is booked for March 25thth on Showtime pay-per-view, and it’s going to be a good one. A meaningful one too: The winner will have a compelling argument to take on undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez either in the second half of 23 or the first half of next year.