We might finally have a timeline for the return of Dmitry Bivol.
Bivol, who many consider the number-one ranked light-heavyweight boxer, is now being rumored to return in October. This would signal nearly a year lay-off after his tremendous 2022, where he defeated Canelo Alvarez and Gilberto Ramirez, and became a consensus top fighter in the sport. While most people might think Bivol is simply being inactive, his co-promoter, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing commented the following.
“He’s going to fight in October. He’s had an injury," said Hearn to Shaun Brown of Boxing News. "People think he’s not fighting. He’s had an injury; he’ll be ready for October. We made an offer to Dan Azeez he chose not to take it. We’re going to make an offer to Anthony Yarde and Queensberry for that fight. I like the fight and we’ll see.”
As stated above Hearn mentioned that an offer was made to Dan Azeez, who chose not to take it. Now, Hearn intends to make an offer to Anthony Yarde, and Yarde's promoter Queensberry Promotions for a potential fight against Bivol in October. Yarde recently lost to the WBC, WBO and IBF light heavyweight world champion Artur Beterbiev, but had a strong showing that made his value go up in the eyes of the general public at large.
The Azeez fight seemingly fell through as Azeez is now being rumored to face Joshua Buatsi. This comes on the heels of a press release for Buatsi vs. Azeez that surfaced in June.
Joshua Buatsi was rumored to face Bivol prior to leaving Matchroom. Now Buatsi is signed with Boxxer, as Boxxer has a broadcast deal with Sky Sports.
So it appears the hope is for Bivol to return in October against an opponent to be named at a later date - with Anthony Yarde seemingly being the first choice.
Yet, another hiccup might occur as Anthony Yarde is now being targeted to return on the Joe Joyce versus Zhilei Zhang card in London on September 23. If this indeed is the plan it appears that Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions will not be exploring Bivol as a suitable next opponent.
Yarde has been out of action since being stopped by the three-belt unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev in January.