Bivol v Beterbiev Is Booked! June 1 Light Heavy Clash



Bivol v Beterbiev Is Booked! June 1 Light Heavy Clash

Artur Beterbiev will put his IBF, WBC ABD WBO straps up against WBA rchamp Dmitry Bivol on Saturday, June 1 at Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The winner will become the division’s first undisputed champion since Roy Jones Jr. downed Reggie Johnson in 1999.

Riydah, Saudi Arabia: Dmitry Bivol v Lyndon Arthur, WBA Light Heavyweight Title Fight.<br 23 December 2023. Picture By Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing.

This battle of 175-pound aces will unspool on ESPN+ in the U.S. as a single fight broadcast.

Beterbiev-Bivol will be promoted by Top Rank, Queensberry Promotions, Matchroom Boxing, World of Boxing Promotions and Sela.

“This a dream matchup between two of the best light heavyweights we’ve ever seen,” said Top Rank Chairman Bob Arum in a release. “The beautiful city of Riyadh will play host to this legacy-defining fight. Thank you to His Excellency Turki Alalshikh for his vision and determination in bringing boxing fans the fights they want to see.”

Beterbiev v Smith

Artur Beterbiev battered Joe Smith on June 18, 2022. Photo: Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

From a release: Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) is boxing’s only current world champion with a 100 percent knockout ratio, a human wrecking ball who entered the pro ranks in 2013 following Olympic berths in 2008 and 2012.

Beterbiev wasted little time establishing his pro credentials, knocking out former world champion Tavoris Cloud in his sixth fight and stopping Enrico Koelling in his 12th outing to capture the IBF world title.

Beterbiev picked up the WBC strap with a 10th-round TKO over Oleksandr Gvozdyk in 2019 and added the WBO title in June 2022 with a second-round TKO of Joe Smith Jr.

He made his eighth title defense on January 13 in Quebec City, Canada, knocking out former super middleweight world champion Callum Smith in seven rounds.

Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) is a 10-year pro with 11 consecutive world title defenses, tied for third most in light heavyweight history.

A decorated amateur who tallied more than 250 victories, he picked up his first regional title in his fourth pro fight.

Following two defenses of the WBA interim title, Bivol was elevated to full champion in 2017 and began his reign of dominance.

He notched wins over Jean Pascal, Joe Smith Jr., and Sullivan Barrera, among others, before a career-defining triumph that vaulted him up the pound-for-pound rankings.

In May 2022, Bivol neutralized living legend Canelo Alvarez en route to a unanimous decision win.

Six months later, he bested former super middleweight champion Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez.

Last December, Bivol fought on the historic “Day of Reckoning” card in Riyadh, shutting out British challenger Lyndon Arthur.

Founder/editor Michael Woods got addicted to boxing in 1990, when Buster Douglas shocked the world with his demolition of the then-impregnable Mike Tyson. The Brooklyn-based journalist has covered the sport since for ESPN The Magazine,, Bad Left Hook and RING. His journalism career started with NY Newsday in 1999. Michael Woods is also an accomplished blow by blow and color man, having done work for Top Rank, DiBella Entertainment, EPIX, and for Facebook Fightnight Live, since 2017.