By Charles Brun: Promoter Bob Arum says WBA gentle heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol isn’t a sufficiently big attraction for him to match in opposition to the winner of tonight’s 175-lb unification battle between champion Artur Beterbiev and Joe Smith Jr.
As an alternative, Arum has already determined to match the winner in opposition to Anthony Yarde. This British fighter is arguably even much less well-known to American boxing followers than Bivol.
The usfans that know of the 30-year-old Yarde bear in mind him because the man that the shot to items 36-year-old Sergey Kovalev knocked out in 2019.
Some would say that Arum is disingenuous by ruling out Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) for the Beterbiev-Smith winner as a result of he’s not well-known to U.S followers.
Given how a lot publicity Bivol has acquired since his upset of famous person Canelo Alvarez on Might seventh, he’s now well-known to boxing followers within the states, and if the 2 have been to battle a rematch, it might be a HUGE affair within the U.S.
May or not it’s that the actual purpose Arum doesn’t need to match the winner of tonight’s Beterbiev vs. Smith Jr battle in opposition to Bivol is that they’d seemingly lose to him?
We already noticed Bivol embarrass Joe Smith in 2019, beating him like a drum for 12 one-sided rounds. Smith’s solely success in opposition to Bivol was when he hit him after the bell within the tenth spherical. Smith arguably ought to have been penalized for that punch. Bivol got here again and pounded Smith after that incident and had him on the verge of being knocked out within the twelfth.
Arum is sensible sufficient to know the seemingly outcome for Joe Smith Jr and Artur Beterbiev if he put them in with Bivol for the undisputed gentle heavyweight championship.
Therefore, Arum will play it protected with the Smith vs. Beterbiev winner by having them defend in opposition to WBO obligatory Yarde (22-2, 21 KOs), who may have no probability in opposition to both fighter.
“Keep in mind, I take with a grain of salt what the Ring Journal or anyone else says in placing guys at #1 or #2. Who cares?” mentioned Bob Arum to Frank Warren’s Queensberry Promotions when instructed that Ring Journal has Dmitry Bivol rated because the #1 fighter at 175 of their rankings.
“Finally, I hope it’ll be determined within the ring, proper?” Arum continued in regards to the concern of who’s #1 at gentle heavyweight, Bivol or Beterbiev. “Finally, Bivol may have his alternative to battle the unified champion that has three belts, and he has one [WBA]. If not, not, you realize?
“Once more, Bivol might maintain the WBA belt, however he’s hardly an attraction. The Canelo-Bivol battle died. Canelo might be the largest attraction in the US on the field workplace, and that battle did horrible, so far as the gate standpoint and the pay-per-view standpoint as a result of no one is aware of Bivol,” Arum mentioned.
What Arum fails to level out is that Bivol’s huge win over Canelo has made him well-known within the U.S, and if the 2 have been to battle once more now, it might be an amazing battle. How does Arum not know that?
It really works to Arum’s profit for the Beterbiev vs. Smith winner to battle Yarde fairly than Bivol as a result of he’s simple pickings. Yarde is little greater than a British home degree fighter who has already been uncovered by a shot Kovalev and fellow Brit Lyndon Arthur.
“Do you perceive that if a fighter fights his fights on, I name it ‘Darkish zone [DAZN], no one watches, and likewise, there’s nothing backing it up as a result of in the event that they battle on ESPN or if Haymon’s guys battle on Showtime, at the least there’s a megaphone calling in regards to the battle, the fighters?” mentioned Arum.
“On DAZN, no one buys, no one subscribes to DAZN. It’s the lifeless zone. Like I instructed [Devin] Haney once I signed Haney and he went to Australia to battle [George] Kambosos, which we confirmed on ESPN, ‘Welcome to the daylight. You’ve been combating at nighttime [on DAZN],’ and I believe it’s the identical drawback within the UK.
“How many individuals are going to look at if a fights on DAZN? Only a few. Once more, it’s very, very tough the place you’ve got a streaming service the place you solely have one sport like boxing. Inconceivable. There’s not sufficient quantity, and it’s not value it.
“Now individuals say to me, ‘What about ESPN’s streaming service ESPN+?’ Effectively, go to it. You’ll see every kind of sports activities 24/7 being proven that individuals can decide. So once more, I want the ‘Useless Zone’ individuals effectively, however to take a battle like Joshua and Usyk to bury it on the ‘Useless Zone’ does no one any good,” mentioned Arum.