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  Bivol: "Beterbiev Will Be My Hardest Fight"

Undefeated WBA Light-Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol believes that a potential undisputed clash with IBF, WBC and WBO ruler Artur Beterbiev would be the toughest test of his career.

Bivol spoke to Matchroom Boxing's 'Flash Knockdown' podcast about his win against Lyndon Arthur in Saudi Arabia, Artur Beterbiev's win over Callum Smith in Canada and a potential mega fight with his Russian rival later this year - listen here

Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) famously handed Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez only the second loss of his career when he outpointed the multi-weight World Champion at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in May 2022 - but the 33-year-old says that a mouth-watering showdown with his compatriot Beterbiev would be a harder fight.

“To be honest I believe that it is the hardest test," said Bivol. "Why? Because he is stronger. I know that he is physically stronger than Canelo. He has good technique too. Many people talk about his power but they forget about his technique because his power is so much better than his technique, but he still had good technique.

“First of all he is strong, very strong. He’s like stone. His punches are very hard and his body is hard. He believes in himself a lot. He has experience, a lot of experience. If you look at his pro record, he doesn’t have too many fights, but he has a lot of experience in the amateurs. It helps him. He uses body shots with his right hand – it’s a good body shot. And he’s strong, this is one of the most important things.

“We’re all human. We all have weak sides. We all have good sides. Even him, we saw some of the moments which he wasn’t good in his last fight. I just need to create as many moments as I can that aren’t comfortable for him and I shouldn’t let him create moments that are uncomfortable for me. That’s it. It’s easy to be honest. We don’t need to think about it too much. Just do your work. I have to do my work and I know I can win if I do my work well."

The unbeaten pound-for-pound star is fresh from a shutout points win over Britain's Lyndon Arthur on the huge 'Day of Reckoning' event at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last month - and a return to the Kingdom could be on the cards later this year if a dream showdown between Bivol and Beterbiev gets over the line.

“I’m happy that everything was under my control. I felt good for all 12 rounds. I was breathing well and I kept my health. Now I am excited to have another fight. I didn’t damage my body too much with my last fight. I have strength to fight again."

Beterbiev looked destructive as he continued his reign as unified Light-Heavyweight World Champion by wiping out Liverpool's Callum Smith in seven rounds at the Videotron Centre in Quebec city, Canada last week - but Bivol believes he possesses the skills to inflict a first career defeat on the 39-year-old powerhouse.

“Of course I watched the fight," said Bivol. "I wasn’t surprised too much to be honest. Beterbiev was good as I expected to be against Smith. I didn’t see something new. He was powerful like he was before and he did his job well.

“I thought he would win. I didn’t have any expectation how he would win. I just felt like he should win. He won like he won and I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t surprised that he was coming too close to Smith easily. He just did his job well.

“I love boxing so much. I like smart boxing and I want to believe that I’m showing this boxing to the people. It should be better than power or just speed. I hope the skills should win. I hope I have enough skills to win this fight. I will push myself to do it."



 

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