Hearn Says Beterbiev Has Signed To Fight Bivol For Undisputed
Reports first emerged that Bivol had penned the agreement shortly after his win over Lyndon Arthur as he successfully defended his WBA light heavyweight for the 11th time. He beat Arthur via a unanimous decision on the Day of Reckoning boxing card. Beterbiev is preparing to face Callum Smith on January 13, 2024, as he defends his WBO, WBC, and IBF belts.
He has not had the best preparation after reports that his VADA tests for his blood and urine had found atypical findings. They showed the presence of human growth hormone and 5D-androstanediol. Although that may be the case, the substance can occur in the body naturally. Further testing then showed that Beterbiev’s tests came back negative after that. With that being said, the pressure is on Beterbiev to deliver.
Hearn On Beterbiev
“When we did the deal in Saudi Arabia with His Excellency, the plan was for Dmitry Bivol to fight for the undisputed fight. A fight that they like is Beterbiev against Bivol. Obviously, they haven’t thought much about the Callum Smith fight because, in their mind, I think they believe Beterbiev will win on Saturday. From our point of view with Bivol, he’s already signed to fight Artur Beterbiev,” Hearn stated
Nevertheless, Beterbiev will have to avoid overlooking Smith. Joseph Parker demonstrated what could happen on the biggest stage when he faced Deontay Wilder. The Bronze Bomber had signed a two-fight deal to face Anthony Joshua. The first fight was meant to take place on March 9, 2024.
This was on the condition that Wilder beat Parker, and Joshua defeated Otto Wallin. Joshua came through his fight, but Wilder lost via a unanimous decision. The Wilder-Joshua fight never happened, as AJ faced Francis Ngannou.
Smith only has one loss in his career against Canelo Alvarez. That happened at 168 pounds, which caused him to move up to light heavyweight. Since moving up, Smith has looked a lot stronger. He has stopped his last two opponents to do the same for Beterbiev. But if Smith does win, there is no guarantee that he fights Beterbiev in Saudi. Hearn confirmed that the deal was only in place for Bivol-Beterbiev.
“There isn’t a deal in place for him to fight Callum Smith, but that will be quite a natural position if he were to win on Saturday. If and when he wins on Saturday, we’ll be looking to make the undisputed fight with Dmitry Bivol. In April sometime, April or May,” Hearn added
Beterbiev is the big favorite, but Smith is not to be overlooked. His team has spoken about how he is hitting harder in his camp, as Smith targets a shot at glory.
“If I win that, the world is my oyster. I’m in a very good position. I’m a three-belt world champion. [And] I’m sure the Bivol fight can be made pretty simple,” Callum Smith stated
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