Dmitry Bivol Next Fight
Since the announcement of Canelo GGG 3, it is apparent that Dmitry Bivol’s next fight will be a voluntary defence, also due to the mandatory obligation for the Beterbeiv-Smith winner making undisputed impossible for 2022. Canelo is expected to rematch Bivol on Cinco De Mayo Weekend 2023 so Bivol will be waiting for that mega payday and wanting to stay active in the meantime.
Bivol has worked with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom/DAZN for over 3 years and is expected to continue his relationship here to secure a Canelo rematch and a voluntary defence in the meantime. Eddie Hearn Via IFL TV has stated that Team Buatsi are happy to face Bivol next and that is the fight he would like to make next. Zurdo is the #1 challenger but not mandatory yet.
Another option is probably Callum Smith who is expected to box on the Usyk Joshua 2 undercard but Smith could also end up being the WBC mandatory for the Beterbiev Smith winner in 2023 and might go with that route instead. Either way with Zurdo, Buatsi or Callum – Bivol will be in a fan-friendly fight in the last third of the year.
Usyk Joshua 2
According to Eddie Hearn, the site deal has now been agreed for Usyk Joshua 2 with the fight expected to take place either on July 23 or an August date. The rumoured location is Saudi Arabia which has a history of paying big site fees. According to the Telegraph, the site fee is $120m.
Sky’s Adam Smith also stated last week they were talking to 258mgt about the UK rights for Usyk Joshua 2 but had not reached a deal yet meaning we could be a while away from an announcement yet. According to The Telegraph, the broadcast situation was the reason for the delay and the fight could be mid-August now with Sky likely to pick up UK rights and DAZN global rights.
On the undercard, we could see Callum Smith in a WBC Final Eliminator, Hrgovic vs Zhang and possibly an Okolie unification.
Promoter Frank Warren revealed that he was speaking to Top Rank about making the mandatory defence of the Beterbiev/Smith winner vs Yarde in the Uk last week and has now confirmed that he has a ‘hold’ on a London venue on October 22 and should Beterbiev or Smith get through their fight fit to fight 4 months later, that fight should happen in the UK.
Beterbiev Yarde is a tricky fight to make in the UK because Yarde is not a big-ticket draw so it would be difficult for even a 3-belt Light Heavyweight title fight to sell out the O2 Arena. Furthermore, Beterbiev is Russian and not really a name in the UK, so the PPV would be extremely difficult to sell and with purses probably going around ~$3m it would have to be a Box Office offering. The Finances are tricky to make work on this fight in the UK.
From what I’m hearing, it appears that Manchester’s Lyndon Arthur will make his ring return on July 2 on the Hughie Fury vs Michael Hunter undercard. It appears Arthur could sign with Boxxer/Sky or alternatively could be an opponent for Dan Azeez to defend his British title either on the date or later in the year with Shakan Pitters also in consideration for Azeez.
Matchroom will stage its debut Australian show on September 10. There is expected to be an announcement at the end of June. The card could feature the first defence of IBF World Champion Ebanie Bridges, world-ranked super-featherweight Brock Jarvis, WBO #1 Liam Paro, Heavyweight Demsey McKean and 2020 Olympians Skye Nicolson and David Nyika.
Mike Coppinger revealed that Anthony Joshua would be training with Robert Garcia.
Eddie Hearn stated there is a rumour that Avanesyan may not take the Vergil Ortiz fight – there is no signed contract yet. It would be a WBC Eliminator, but not a final eliminator.
Conor Benn could return on September 3 at the O2.