Bivol fully focused on Arthur defence amidst Beterbiev undisputed talk
December 21 2023
WBA Light-Heavyweight World Champion stars in unmissable ‘Day of Reckoning’ boxing bonanza in Saudi Arabia
Dmitry Bivol has put his birthday celebrations on hold until after his latest WBA Light-Heavyweight World Title defence against Manchester’s IBO Champion Lyndon Arthur this Saturday December 23 at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – shown live on DAZN as a pay-per-view event in the UK, US and over 200 markets worldwide.
The unbeaten pound-for-pound star, who turned 33 on Monday, hasn’t fought since he masterfully outpointed Mexico’s Gilberto Ramirez at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi in November 2022 – the first ever World Title fight to be held in the United Arab Emirates.
Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) famously handed Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez only the second loss of his career when he outpointed the multi-weight World Champion at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in May 2022 – and the humble master boxer could be facing another career-defining fight in 2024 should his long-awaited undisputed clash with IBF, WBC and WBO World Champion Artur Beterbiev get over the line.
Beterbiev faces Bivol’s Matchroom stablemate and former WBA Super-Middleweight World Champion Callum Smith in an eagerly anticipated defence on January 13 in Canada – but the World of Boxing fighter says he remains fully focused on the task at hand this weekend.
“Every time I get in the ring, I think like this is the best opponent that I will face, and this is the hardest fight of my career,” Bivol told Matchroom Boxing. “It helps me to be focused and take my training campy seriously.
“Preparation for this fight has been good. I spent my time in Kyrgyzstan for my training camp. It was a nice time and I had good sparring. I had my last sparring on Monday before my fight on Saturday. Everything is good.
“Lyndon Arthur a good fighter and he’s a well-schooled boxer. He uses his jab a lot and he moves well. This is going to be a good challenge for me. His record and his IBO belt are an extra motivation for me.
“I try to be the best version of myself every time I get in the ring. I hope we’re going to win another title. It’s a new challenge for me. Then I can celebrate my birthday properly. My celebration on Monday was two training sessions!”
Bivol sent fight fans into a frenzy when he came face-to-face with Beterbiev at a glitzy gala event in Saudi Arabia ahead of the huge Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou event back in October, and the long-reigning WBA Champion believes they will finally share a ring in 2024 should they both get past their latest tests.
“It’s a big goal and when we signed the contract we discussed not only fighting against Lyndon Arthur, we discussed about another fight too for four belts. We discussed undisputed. They want to make this fight and they can make this fight. This is really good for me. It’s what I need.”
The ‘Day of Reckoning’ comes after the ‘Battle of the Baddest’, which was held on October 28 during the opening of Riyadh Season 2023, in which Tyson Fury defeated Francis Ngannou.
The fourth edition of Riyadh Season, themed “Big Time,” offers many entertainment options and experiences. It continues to attract visitors from across the globe to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, during the winter months, providing them with the opportunity to partake in thousands of concerts, exhibitions, and other distinctive entertainment events. Notable celebrities and prominent international brands contribute to the grandeur of this occasion.
Tickets for events and experiences in the zone can be reserved through the WeBook application by accessing the following link.