Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol will finally meet for a fight that will crown the undisputed light heavyweight champion. Turki Alalshikh, the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, announced the news Saturday, revealing that Beterbiev and Bivol will fight on June 1 in Saudi Arabia.
The event will also showcase the previously announced “five-versus-five” card featuring fighters from rival British promoters Matchroom Boxing and Queensberry Promotions. In recent months, all signs have been pointing toward a bout between the WBC, WBO, and IBF champion Beterbiev and WBA titlist Bivol to be nearing a deal. Alalshikh’s exuberance for financing notable fights in his home country allowed for the clash to cross the finish line. The Russian rivals held their end of the bargain by winning their recent fights to remain undefeated. The 39-year-old Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) is coming off a seventh-round stoppage win against Callum Smith in January.
The 33-year-old Bivol (22-0, 11 KOs) – the 2022 fighter of the year – dropped and dominated Lyndon Arthur for a unanimous decision win in December in Saudi Arabia during the “Day of Reckoning” show funded by Alalshikh. Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer, and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and the MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, through email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at], or via