Beterbiev injured, title bout vs. Bivol postponed

Artur Beterbiev suffered a ruptured meniscus and his undisputed light heavyweight championship fight vs. Dmitry Bivol on June 1 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been postponed, it was announced Friday.

Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, told ESPN a replacement opponent is being sought for Bivol on the June 1 card.

Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) will undergo knee surgery and is expected to be sidelined until at least September, sources said. The hope is for Beterbiev-Bivol to be rescheduled later this year.

Alalshikh announced that the stacked undercard that features five boxers promoted by Matchroom vs. five Queensberry fighters will proceed June 1 as planned.

The series of fights is highlighted by a bout between former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder vs. Zhilei Zhang. Both boxers are coming off losses to Joseph Parker. Wilder needs an impressive performance to move on to a planned Aug. 3 bout with Jared Anderson in Los Angeles.

Filip Hrgovic will meet Daniel Dubois for the vacant IBF heavyweight title, and Ray Ford will defend his WBA featherweight title against Nick Ball. The other two fights are Ammo Williams-Hamzah Sheeraz and Willy Hutchinson-Craig Richards.

But the most anticipated fight of all was the long-awaited summit meeting between Beterbiev and Bivol.

Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) is ESPN’s No. 5 pound-for-pound boxer while Beterbiev is No. 6. Bivol owns a victory over boxing’s top star, Canelo Alvarez, and holds the WBA title at 175 pounds.

Beterbiev, the WBO, WBC and IBF champion at 175 pounds, is ESPN’s No. 1 light heavyweight (Bivol is No. 2).

Beterbiev, 39, and Bivol, 33, both are from Russia, though Beterbiev now lives in Quebec. That’s where he returned in January 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 is boxing’s only champion with a 100% KO rate.

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 smarts. 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, where he scored a shutout decision over Lyndon Arthur.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top