Beterbiev vs Bivol postponed as injury derails undisputed title fight

The undisputed light-heavyweight title fight between Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev has been delayed indefinitely, after the latter sustained a ruptured meniscus in training.

Promoters Top Rank announced the news on Friday (3 May), four weeks out from the long-awaited bout, which was due to take place in Saudi Arabia, on 1 June.

According to Top Rank: “The plan is to reschedule Beterbiev-Bivol before the end of the year, and additional details will be provided in due course.”

Bivol and Beterbiev are both unbeaten and both of Russian descent, though Bivol (22-0, 11 knockouts) represents Kyrgyzstan – his country of birth – and Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) fights out of Canada, where he resides.

Beterbiev, 39, has won all of his professional contests via knockout and holds the WBC, WBO and IBF light-heavyweight titles. Bivol, 33, is the division’s WBA and IBO champion.

The pair were due to fight after a ‘5 vs 5’ undercard in Riyadh, with five of Eddie Hearn’s boxers facing five of Frank Warren’s.

The undercard is expected to go ahead as planned, with Deontay Wilder vs Zhilei Zhang and Daniel Dubois vs Filip Hrgovic among the scheduled bouts. Also on the 1 June card, Hamzah Sheeraz is set to fight Austin “Ammo” Williams, Nick Ball is due to challenge WBA featherweight champion Raymond Ford, and Craig Richards is scheduled to box Willy Hutchinson.

Friday’s news marks the second postponement of an undisputed title fight in Saudi Arabia this year; in February, Tyson Fury vs Oleksandr Usyk was cancelled on short notice.

The heavyweight champions are now due to collide in Riyadh on 18 May.