WBA world-light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol [21-0] has begun negotiations with newly crowned IBO world champion Lyndon Arthur [23-1] regarding a voluntary defence of his WBA crown.
Declan Taylor of Boxing News initially published the reporting of the negotiations commencing between the parties.
Bivol has been out of action following a successful 2022 which saw him defeat Canelo Alvarez in May of that year to successfully defend his WBA world title in what was seen as an upset victory with the bookmakers. Bivol would reaffirm his strong 2022 with a comprehensive points win over Gilberto Ramirez in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Bivol has long been yearning for an undisputed encounter with unified WBC, WBO & IBF world champion Artur Beterbiev, which would be one of the most anticipated light-heavyweight encounters in recent years. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the WBC stated that in support of Ukraine, they would refuse to sanction any fight with any Russian or Belarussian fighters for any of their titles.
Furthermore, Beterbiev was scheduled to face his WBC mandatory challenger, Callum Smith, last month in Quebec City, Canada. However, due to a jaw injury on behalf of Beterbiev, the fight was pushed back till January 2024.
Vadim Kornilov, who manages Bivol, admitted that securing an opponent for Bivol has been challenging after seeing British promotional entity Boxxer reject offers made to Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez.
Taylor & Boxing News have reported that co-promoters of Bivol, Matchroom Boxing, have contacted Wasserman Boxing (Formally Sauerland Promotion), who promote Arthur regarding a possible match-up for December. If terms are agreed upon, it is reported that the contest will be held in the United States.
On September 1, Arthur rose from the canvas to claim the vacant IBO world title against Braian Suarez courtesy of a tenth-round knockout. Arthur had been rebuilding his career following his December 2021 defeat to former world title challenger and domestic rival Anthony Yarde. The pair previously met in 2020, which saw Arthur defeat Yarde via split decision. The 2022 defeat top Yarde remains the only blemish on Yarde’s record from twenty-four fights as a professional.
If terms can’t be reached between Bivol and Arthur, Arthur will likely make the maiden defence of his IBO world title against Craig Richards instead it is reported.