Artur Beterbiev VS. Dmitry Bivol Needs to Happen ASAP

Elsa/Getty Images

Artur Beterbiev VS. Dmitry Bivol Needs to Happen ASAP

UFC/Boxing

Artur Beterbiev VS. Dmitry Bivol Needs to Happen ASAP

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Elsa/Getty Images

Artur Beterbiev became the unified WBO, WBC, and IBF light heavyweight world champion with a second-round TKO victory against Joe Smith Jr. on Saturday.

With three of the four titles at hand, Beterbiev has options for his next fight. Top Rank revealed before Beterbiev fought Smith Jr. that the winner would face Anthony Yarde later in 2022. Since Beterbiev won the fight, he will likely have to face Yarde before the end of the calendar year.

While a fight between Beterbiev and Yarde would be entertaining, it is not the fight that the sport needs to elevate its product. When the odds for Beterbiev-Yarde are released, Beterbiev will be a heavy favorite as he was against Smith Jr.

Yarde, a former WBO light heavyweight title challenger in 2019, will go into his next fight on a two-fight winning streak. Yarde made a big name for himself in the United Kingdom, but in North America, Yarde was not a familiar name to casual boxing fans.

It will be a fair challenge for Beterbiev as the fight will presumably take place in London, per ESPN’s Mike Coppinger. Beterbiev proved against Smith that he can travel to enemy territory and dismantle his opponent.

If Beterbiev is able to push a fight against Yarde off to the side for an undisputed title fight against WBA light heavyweight world champion Dmitry Bivol, that would please the boxing community. Bivol pulled off the upset of the year with a unanimous decision win over Canelo Alvarez in May.

Bivol retained his WBA light heavyweight world title and caused a great deal of intrigue about his next fight. With a win over Alvarez, Bivol put himself in the spotlight for the immediate future. Bivol was called out by light heavyweight contender Gilberto Ramirez, which could be an interesting fight, if Bivol does not fight Beterbiev.

After the previous two months, it was clear that Bivol and Beterbiev were the two best light heavyweights in boxing. As of late, boxing has been on a hot streak due to exciting fights with recognizable names. Boxing has an opportunity to give fans the fight they want to see between Beterbiev and Bivol.

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