BOXING

TURKI ALALSHIKH TELLS BIVOL TO FIGHT BENAVIDEZ AND OPETAIA

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Turki Alalshikh is keen on making Dmitry Bivol fight David Benavidez and Jai Opetaia.

That all depends on whether Bivol comes out victorious against Artur Beterbiev. They face off on October 12 for the Undisputed Light Heavyweight Championship. The fight was agreed for June 1. However, Beterbiev pulled out with a knee injury. Malik Zinad stepped in to face Bivol as the WBA champion stopped the Libyan in round six. Bivol may be considered the slight favorite now that Beterbiev is returning from a knee injury.

Beterbiev may have a 100 percent knockout rate, but his recent performances have shown he can be hurt. Anthony Yarde repeatedly hurt Beterbiev before the Russian stopped him. Beterbiev has also suffered more injuries recently. He suffered a jaw infection before his fight with Callum Smith, which was rescheduled for January. Now, the latest injury shows that Beterbiev’s body is not the same as it was.

Turki Alalshikh wants to make fight between David Benavidez and Dmitry Bivol vs Artur Beterbiev winner, not Canelo Alvarez : r/Boxing

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But if Bivol wins, fights with Benavidez and Opetaia could get made. Benavidez will box Oleksandr Gvozdyk for the WBC Interim Light Heavyweight Belt. The win makes him mandatory for the winner of Beterbiev-Bivol. Benavidez has spoken about having sparred Bivol previously and recalled knocking him out. While sparring has to be taken with a pinch of salt, Bivol has spoken warmly about Benavidez moving up.

“I know a lot of people have seen videos of me saying I can knock out Bivol. And I really can. I sparred with Bivol at Churchill Boxing. And a lot of people have seen that. And they know what happened there. You can ask the witnesses,” Benavidez stated

Opetaia is the current IBF Cruiserweight Champion. He defeated Mairis Briedis to win the vacant title. Bivol would need to move up to cruiserweight, and he has stated that he would be willing to move up provided he won all the belts at 175, making it a possibility.

“I want to finish business in my weight class. Then we can make fight,” Bivol stated

Bivol could take onCanelo Alvarez. Alvarez has spoken about the desire to run that fight back. The rematch initially broke down due to the difference in weight classes. Canelo wanted it at 175, while Bivol wanted it at 168 to win Canelo’s undisputed belt. But if Bivol cleans up at 175, there may be more incentive to face Canelo. He does not have the pressure of chasing undisputed, and he will be able to secure a bigger payday. And yet, Bivol sees his future elsewhere.

“I don’t have him (Canelo) on my agenda… my mind is elsewhere right now. I have another route. Maybe in the future, we can face each other again, but not in the short term. I was free and I could choose different paths, I could go down to 168 pounds to fight him. We had the possibility of doing it for a couple of years, but his team and my team couldn’t come to an agreement, and I thought there was no problem, and I went ahead,” Bivol stated

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