Dmitry Bivol thanks Lyndon Arthur for sparring and sets sights on Beterbiev-Smith winner

Dmitry Bivol defended his WBA light-heavyweight world title with a comprehensive win over Manchester underdog Lyndon Arthur on the undercard of Day of Reckoning bill in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 

Bivol began to walk back Arthur in the early seconds of the first round. That theme continued throughout the opener, with Arthur finding himself near the ropes for the entirety and Bivol landed a left hook that appeared to have the Englishman concerned. 

The second round saw more intense pressure from Bivol. The Russian was on the front foot, ramming home his jab. Bivol then landed a right-left combination that sent Arthur stumbling back to the ropes, and a left hook that sent Arthur back to the ropes once again.

The third saw Arhur begin the round off the ropes, but he was being hurt with Bivol’s vicious jab in the middle of the ring. The undefeated Russian unleashed multiple right hands, having Arthur in trouble at the midway point. Arthur walked onto a left hook to open the fourth round. Two more followed a minute later as Bivol went looking for the finish. 

The pressure was relentless from Bivol though the fifth and sixth rounds. Despite two snippets of success for Arthur, the Englishman looked badly beaten up going into the seventh. The pace and pressure had slowed in the seventh and eighth but it was still a Bivol whitewash. The action did pick up in the final 60 seconds of round eight, with Bivol working the body of his challenger.

Round nine saw Bivol begin with more aggression, attempting to pin Arthur to the ropes with the pressure he asserted in the beginning. Right hands rained in on Arthur, but was let off the hook by Bivol. 

The fight was calling for a stoppage, although there was some fight back from Arthur. The Englishman was finally down in the closing seconds of the 11th after an onslaught of punches and having been hurt by two lefts to the body. The final round had Bivol hunting for the knockout, Arthur was close to being stopped on his feet in the first minute of the 12th round, he somehow managed to throw something as the referee was about to jump in. 

Arthur made the final bell under severe pressure as Bivol went all out in the last round. All three scorecards read 120-107, with Bivol taking every round and earning an extra point for the knockdown. 

“I can say it was good sparring for me,” Bivol said in the DAZN post fight interview. “I’m glad I got his fight and I can see the way to my goal, to be undisputed, to get the winner of [Artur] Beterbiev-[Callum] Smith. I hope this fight happens in 2024. The next fight.”