Dmitry Bivol believes Artur Beterbiev will be the toughest fight of his career.
Bivol and Beterbiev are set to clash for the undisputed light heavyweight championship later this year in Saudi Arabia.
Bivol, the WBA champion rose to prominence when he inflicted a second professional defeat on Canelo Alvarez in May 2022 and insists that unified WBC, WBO and IBF titlist, Beterbiev presents a harder assignment than the Mexican great.
“To be honest I believe that it is the hardest test,” Bivol told Matchroom Boxing.
“Why? Because he is stronger. I know that he is physically stronger than Canelo.
“He has good technique too. Many people talk about his power but they forget about his technique because his power is so much better than his technique, but he still had good technique.
“First of all he is strong, very strong. He’s like stone.
“His punches are very hard and his body is hard. He believes in himself a lot. He has experience, a lot of experience.
The Russian defended his WBA title in December in Saudi Arabia, knocking down Lyndon Arthur on route to a unanimous decision victory.
Beterbiev, who was born in Russia, but holds Canadian citizenship, retained his belts with a seventh round stoppage of Callum Smith earlier this month and Bivol insists he saw flaws in his rival’s arsenal.
“We’re all human,” he added.
“We all have weak sides. We all have good sides.
“Even him, we saw some of the moments which he wasn’t good in his last fight.
“I just need to create as many moments as I can that aren’t comfortable for him and I shouldn’t let him create moments that are uncomfortable for me.
“That’s it. It’s easy to be honest. We don’t need to think about it too much. Just do your work. I have to do my work and I know I can win if I do my work well.
“I hope the skills should win and I hope I have enough skills to win this fight.”
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Beterbiev’s promoter, Bob Arum revealed after the Smith fight that a deal is not yet finalised with Bivol, although suggested that the bout is likely to place three months after the conclusion of Ramadan, which ends on April 9, to enable Beterbiev, who is a devout Muslim enough time to train for clash.
Turki Alalshikh, chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, who has been given the resources to bring major events to the region, told DAZN Boxing that he’d like the winner of Beterbiev-Bivol to face IBF cruiserweight world champion, Jai Opetaia.