Dmitry Bivol Happy To Wait On Canelo For What’s Next
While WBA light heavyweight world titlist Dmitry Bivol is home in Russia with his family resting and basking in his career-defining upset decision win over undisputed super middleweight champion Canelo Alvarez, he is also pondering what might be next for him.
Bivol retained his title for the ninth time and bounced Alvarez from his perch as pound-for-pound king with a brilliant display in a unanimous decision — a too-tight 115-113 on all three scorecards — on May 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
What Bivol does next is not entirely his decision. He must wait to see whether Alvarez invokes his contractual right to an immediate rematch. Alvarez indicated in the immediate aftermath of the fight that he wanted the rematch, but he is currently on vacation with his wife and surely will ponder his official decision.
If Bivol has his way, he said he hopes Alvarez (57-2-2, 39 KOs), 31, of Mexico, will pass on the rematch and free him to pursue other fights even if the rematch would provide him with by far his biggest payday.
“I want more belts. I want to move forward,” Bivol said during a recent video conference with media members hosted by the WBA. “I want to fight for more belts. If I win (against) Canelo again I am in the same place. I have the same belts. It’s the same victory. I prefer, of course, to fight for another belt. But he has (an) option for a rematch and, of course, I (would) give him a rematch because I have to. But I prefer to fight with another champion if I could.”
One fight that intrigues him would be a fight for the undisputed title against the winner of the June 18 bout between WBC/IBF champion Artur Beterbiev (17-0, 17 KOs), 37, Bivol’s Montreal-based Russian countryman, and WBO titleholder Joe Smith Jr. (28-3, 22 KOs), 32, from New York’s Long Island. Bivol sounded a lot more interested in Beterbiev than Smith.
“What about the unification fight with Beterbiev? Of course (it is) an important fight for boxing fans in Russia and other countries too because people want to see the best against the best,” Bivol said.
The 31-year-old Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) has said for years he could move down to super middleweight for the right fight but did not sound too interested in having a potential rematch with Alvarez at 168 pounds, where he could challenge for his undisputed crown.
“It’s not too interesting for me to move down for four belts for a rematch but maybe I could make 168 for four belts,” Bivol said. “Maybe it could happen but better at 175.”
Bivol does have a mandatory challenger in Mexican southpaw Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez, who maintained his position with a one-sided fourth-round destruction of Germany’s Dominic Boesel this past Saturday in Golden Boy’s main event on DAZN at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California.
Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs), 30, has been calling Bivol out for the better part of year, but Bivol understandably pursued the much bigger fight with Alvarez. Having gotten that fight and defeated boxing’s biggest star, Bivol said he is open to facing Ramirez.
“A fight against Gilberto Ramirez is interesting fight for me, too,” Bivol said. “But it’s not my first (option) because I would like to fight for more belts. But maybe he is in second place because he talked about me many times. He’s mentioned me many times. He has a good record. I would like to fight him too if I couldn’t get a title (unification) fight.”