Bivol’s Manager Expects The WBC To Allow An Undisputed Fight With Beterbiev

Vadim Kornilov, Dmitry Bivol’s manager, expects the WBC to allow a possible fight with Artur Beterbiev for undisputed. 

Bivol, the current WBA light heavyweight champion, defended his title successfully for the 11th time with a victory over Lyndon Arthur. That places Bivol in contention for the winner of Beterbiev vs Callum Smith for undisputed. The two boxers fight on January 13, 2024.

The fight with Beterbiev has proved problematic after the WBC stopped Russian fighters from fighting for its belt due to the Russia-Ukraine war. But given that Beterbiev is also Russian, the stance was called out. Sulaiman shut down those claims, stating that Beterbiev has a Canadian passport. He also expressed that Bivol could appeal if he was dissatisfied. 

“We have explained consistently several times that Bivol has to contact the WBC and put his case forward, explaining why the WBC should not consider him Russian. Because we do not allow any boxing in Russia or Belarus, we don’t rank any boxers from Russia or Belarus and we don’t [give] any support [to] any activity of a WBC fight involving those two countries.

“He has never contacted the WBC for months. It’s very simple. If he believes he’s being mistreated and that we should have a different status [he should have reached out to us]—I’ve said it many times,” Sulaiman said

Things could be about to change. Bivol confirmed that Saudi Arabia intends to make an undisputed fight with Beterbiev, which influenced his decision to face Arthur in Saudi. The Kingdom has shown it can put on the biggest fights with a deal in place for Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk. So Kornilov expected nothing to stand in the way of making that fight. 

“The fight with Beterbiev is possible in March or April of next year. But he still has a fight with Smith in January. I don’t think there will be any obstacles from the WBC. And I don’t think there will be any [obstacles] with anyone else. The sanctioning bodies will want to take part in a fight of this magnitude,” Kornilov

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