Beterbiev Trainer ‘Very Optimistic’ Undisputed Bout With Bivol Will Happen on June 1

March 6, 2024
3 months
Artur Beterbiev

Marc Ramsey, the trainer of unified light-heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, has said he is “very optimistic” the undisputed bout with Dimitry Bivol will take place on June 1.

Beterbiev (20-0-0 20 KO) holds the WBC, IBF, and WBO world titles at 175lbs while Bivol (22-0-0 11 KO) is the WBA champion. Given their dominance of the light-heavyweight division in recent years, there have been frequent calls for the pair to share a ring for an undisputed showdown.

For a while, the two sides failed to come close to an agreement and it looked like the fight would never happen. However, the recent involvement of Saudi Arabia and its willingness to pay massive purses for big fights means the bout seems to be edging closer.

The grand plan is for Beterbiev and Bivol to headline the Matchroom vs Queensbury event in Riyadh on June 1. The idea of the event is for Matchroom’s Eddie Hearn, who represents Bivol, to pit five of his fighters against Queensbury’s Frank Warren, who promotes Beterbiev.

While the fight is yet to be officially signed and sealed, Ramsey revealed to BoxingScene that it appears to be heading that way.

Beterbiev ‘Already In The Gym’

“I think the fight is going to happen,” Ramsey said. “I think the 1st of June is a good date for the fight. I do know that Artur has a couple of little details, but they are nothing to do with the big stuff, it’s just some side stuff that we have to deal with. But to be honest with you, I am very optimistic for the 1st of June.”

Beterbiev has forged a deserved reputation as one of the most dangerous fighters in boxing. The Russia-born Canadian has stopped all 20 of his opponents, including reigning and former world champions like Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Joe Smith Jr., and most recently Callum Smith.

Bivol, meanwhile, is regarded as one of the finest technicians in all of boxing. Those skills were on full display when he dismantled Canelo Alvarez over 12 rounds in May 2022, and he most recently outclassed Lyndon Arthur on the Anthony Joshua vs Otto Wallin undercard in Saudi Arabia in December.

“He’s already in the gym now. He is about to go to do high altitude training in Russia for 21 days in March. He will then come back here [to Montreal] to finish his nine weeks training camp with me,” Ramsey added. “It will then just be a case of studying Bivol properly, finding the right sparring partners and having the right communication. It’s what we do every training camp.

Beterbiev ‘Not Slowing Down’

“I don’t think there is anything personal here for Artur. He just wants to beat him because it is the person they put in front of him. He just wants to win, he’s real competitive. He’s never going to wait around, he’s not going to wait around for Canelo, wait around for Bivol, he will just fight the fight we need to do.”

Prior to fighting Smith in January, Beterbiev had not fought for one year and at the age of 39, some within boxing wondered if he still had the same power and athleticism from earlier in his career. Those doubts were emphatically answered with a destruction seventh-round stoppage against a fighter who not long ago was a unified super-middleweight champion.

Ramsey, who has better insight into Beterbiev’s conditioning than anyone, insists his fighter is still as sharp as ever.

“Artur is always training,” Ramsey said. “He takes a week off then he is straight back in the gym. Whether it is a little bit of strength and conditioning or a little bit of boxing, he is always doing something. He is never going months and months outside of the gym.

“Even if we have no opponent scheduled, we will still have a technical objective. Even at 39, we have to be better in training. Right now, we see no slowing down from him in the gym. Of course at one point, he’s human like everybody else and getting older. But right now, we see no sign of that. Every single piece of the puzzle is there, it is so easy for a guy like me to coach a talented athlete like this.”