The undisputed light heavyweight championship fight between WBA champ Dmitry Bivol and IBF/WBO/WBC unified champion Artur Beterbiev was announced last Saturday night for October 12th in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Beterbiev’s Injury Concerns

Assuming Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) doesn’t suffer a setback in training coming off his meniscus injury, the fight between him and Bivol will take place on October 12th.

With a knee injury like that, you can’t be certain whether Beterbiev will be ready for that date. Returning from that fast is tough, especially with Beterbiev, 39 years old.

If the fight does need to be postponed again, at least it’ll give Bivol more time to prepare. He didn’t look good last night against the little-known Malik Zinad (22-1, 16 KOs).

Bivol (23-0, 12 KOs) stopped Zinad (22-1, 16 KOs) in the sixth round last night at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, but he ate a lot of jabs and right hands from the fringe contender.

If Beterbiev’s knee isn’t 100%, that gives Bivol his best chance, and it likely won’t be. For anyone who has suffered a knee injury like that, it takes a long time to come back from it; for Beterbiev to get back in the ring as early as October, that’s asking a lot of him or anyone.

Age and Decline

If Beterbiev was the one landing those same right hands on Bivol, it might have been an early night because he was getting hit a lot. This was not the Bivol boxing fans had seen dominate Canelo Alvarez and Gilberto Ramirez.

He’s not the same fighter. Bivol’s movement isn’t the same, and his combination punching is nowhere near what it was since he fought those two in 2022.

Dmitry has aged and lost a few steps, which isn’t good for him because that’s his main asset in a fight against Beterbiev, who will have a big power advantage. The Beterbiev that we saw dispatch, Callum Smith, in seven rounds last January will be too much for Bivol.

“He told me, and he told me also in the ring for October 12th, that he has a date for the undisputed fight for me and Beterbiev,” said Dmitry Bivol to Title Sports Network about His Excellency Turki Alalshikh, having revealed that the undisputed light heavyweight clash is scheduled between Bivol and IBF/WBC/WBO champion Artur Beterbiev for October 12th.

“I can say only that I have to be ready for this date for my huge fight, and I will try to do all my best to be ready. I hope October 12th, we will see undisputed fight. It’s all my skills packaged. Speed, movement, mentality, and conditioning. All of it,” said Bivol when asked what would make the difference for him to beating Beterbiev.

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