By Craig Daly: Promoter Eddie Hearn says an offer has been made to unbeaten challenger Joshua Buatsi to face WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol.
Hearn is hoping the fight can be made if the 2016 Olympian Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs) accepts the offer to battle Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) for his title next.
Buatsi, 29, is the guy that Hearn has wanted all along since Bivol’s upset win over Canelo Alvarez on May 7th.
Shortly after the dust had cleared from that fight, Hearn began talking of Buatsi challenging Bivol rather than a Canelo-Bivol rematch.
Boxing fans prefer to see Bivol battle undefeated IBF/WBC/WBO light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed 175-lb championship than seeing Buatsi thrown into the mix.
“We want [Joshua] Buatsi to fight Bivol. We’ve made an offer now to Buatsi to fight Bivol, which we want to make sure he’s happy with, and hopefully, we can make that fight,” said Eddie Hearn to Pro Boxing Fans.
“It’s not done yet, it’s not signed, but we’re seeing if we can make the numbers work,” said Hearn.
Hearn’s hands are tied, however, because Beterbiev’s promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank prefers that his fighter face his #1 WBO challenger Anthony Yarde next in October rather than a risky battle for the undisputed 175-lb championship against Bivol.
Hearn believes that there’s some worry on Arum’s part in letting Beterbiev take on the highly skilled Bivol, who he personally feels is a better talent than the three-belt champion.
Arum complains that Bivol fights on DAZN, which makes it difficult to put a fight together with his fighter Beterbiev, who competes on ESPN.
However, Hearn sees it as a case of Arum not wanting to put the 37-year-old Beterbiev in with Bivol and watching him potentially lose like his other popular light heavyweight Joe Smith Jr.
Bivol defeated Joe Smith by a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision in March 2019. The way that Bivol outboxed Smith may have scared Arum off from wanting to let Beterbiev suffer the same fate.
Buatsi is coming off a grueling 12-round unanimous decision win over Craig Richards on May 21st in a fight in which he took a lot of heavy shots and was hurt in the tenth. The scores were 116-112, 115-113, and 115-113.
Richards also gave Bivol a tough time, losing to him by a 12-round unanimous decision in May 2021. The difference in that fight was Bivol didn’t absorb a lot of punishment from Richards.
Although Bivol took some shots from Richards, it wasn’t the same kind of hard fight as the one Buatsi dealt with.
Bivol is coming off a win over Canelo Alvarez on May 7th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The WBA 175-lb champion Bivol outboxed Canelo and showed his superior skills in winning a fight that appeared to many boxing fans as more one-sided than the 115-113 x 3 scores turned in by the three judges. Canelo wisely chose not to take the rematch with Bivol.