Artur Beterbiev and Dmitrii Bivol came head-to-head in London this afternoon to formalise their fight in Saudi Arabia on June 1.

The Russian light heavyweight champions were respectful, although you could sense an edge in the air between the long-time rivals who meet in one of the best fights that can be made in the sport.

Bivol thanked Beterbiev and his team and his promoters, Top Rank, for taking the fight, and the Saudi power brokers who were on hand to witness the media conference.

“[It’s] a great fight not only for me, but for boxing fans,” said Bivol.

“Saudi Arabia will make this fight and thank you for this. When I signed a contract to be a pro boxer, I had a goal to be undisputed champion.”

Bivol said his 2022 victory over Canelo Alvarez was his ticket to big fights, and now he has the fight he has most craved.     

“I’m happy I have a fight on June 1 for all of the belts.”

Asked about his thoughts specifically on Beterbiev, and whether he was his most dangerous opponent to date, the WBA champion said: “Everyone, when I’m in training camp, I think the opponent is the most dangerous in the world, this helps me focus in my camp. 

“Of course he is dangerous…. It makes me more excited to fight this guy because I love challenges, I love to be tested and it’s a huge test for me.”

Bivol was confident his skills would be the difference. 

Beterbiev, a man of few words and the WBC, WBO and IBF champion, said: “I’m happy to be here, it’s not the first time… I see another belt…. I’m collecting belts and I need one more.”

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