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The Light Heavyweight Champions Artur Beterbiev And Dmitry Bivol Are Scheduled To Square Off In June

The highly anticipated clash between the two best 175-pound fighters is officially scheduled for this summer in Saudi Arabia.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Boxing enthusiasts have long harbored dreams of seeing the light heavyweight champions Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev square off. The battle has been scheduled for June 1 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, making the dream match a reality.


WBC, IBF, and WBO world titles are held by Beterbiev(20-0, 20KOs). The fact that the fighter, who was born in Russia, competes out of Canada may have something to do with the reason the bout hasn’t happened recently. With a knockout victory over Enrico Kolling in November 2017, Beterbiev, 39, took home the IBF championship. Beterbiev added the WBC title three fights later when he stopped Oleksandr Gvozdyk.


In June 2022, Beterbiev defeated Joe Smith Jr. to capture the WBO title after successfully defending both of his previous belts twice. Since then, he has triumphed over Callum Smith and Anthony Yarde. “Yes, of course. I need a fourth belt. It would mean a lot to me,” said Beterbiev in media reports after he defeated Callum Smith.


Bivol(22-0, 11KOs), the WBA champion, is likewise unbeaten. Compared to Beterbiev, Bivol is a more strategic fighter who has won half of his bouts via stoppage, frequently boxing opponents around with amazing skill.

In May 2016, Bivol, 33, defeated Felix Valera to win the interim title. Bivol fought in his seventh professional match against Valera. Bivol was declared world champion after successfully defending the interim title twice, following Badou Jack’s title forfeit. In May 2022, Bivol defeated Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, the all-time great in the pound-for-pound division, to successfully defend his world title eleven times. 

Bivol is a fighter of Russian descent, just like Beterbiev. Bivol is still a Russian citizen, unlike Beterbiev. The World Boxing Council (WBC) prohibited Russian fighters from defending their titles after the invasion of Ukraine. The ban was one of the primary obstacles to holding the bout earlier, and the sanctioning body persisted in holding that position whenever the topic of Bivol vs. Beterbiev was brought up. 

Now that the obstacle seems to have been overcome, one of the boxing world’s most exciting bouts will go down as the sport’s mid-2024 high point. 


“The time is now for Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol to crown an undisputed WBA, WBC, IBF & WBO light-heavyweight world champion in 2024,” said Michael Benson an online sports editor in a post on X.

(Additional reporting provided by Miriam Onyango)

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