The WBA champion has been absent from the ring ever since his win over Zurdo Ramirez last year. A hand injury had kept out Bivol for longer than expected. Meanwhile, a rematch with Canelo Alvarez failed as both boxers wanted to fight at different weight classes. Alvarez favored a rematch at 175, the original weight that he had suffered a defeat, while Bivol was intent on fighting for Canelo’s undisputed super middleweight title.
On top of that, fights with other opponents failed to get made. Despite links with Anthony Yarde and Joshua Buatsi, nothing materialized in that regard. However, Eddie Hearn recently confirmed that Bivol could return on January 13th, 2024. As such, the boxer hopes to face an opponent before targeting the winner of Beterbiev vs. Callum Smith for all the belts.
“Every time I hope for the next fight [to be for undisputed], but he, of course, has a fight. I ask my team how we can. I like it. I need to make a fight [in January] and then make a fight in June or July. It’s better June,” Bivol
The fight has been complicated by the WBC’s initial ban on Russian fighters fighting for their belt due to the Ukrainian war. But WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has stated that Bivol could apply for an exemption, which increases hopes that the fight will get made.
However, if it does not get made, then Bivol has targeted a move down to 168. And in doing so, he will target a rematch with Alvarez since there would not be any other title fights forthcoming. However, other options could include David Benavidez or Caleb Plant. But a move up to cruiserweight has been ruled out.
“I think it’s easier for me to move down to 168 than it is to move up [to cruiserweight] for me,” Bivol