Primarily based on what Bob Arum has seen from Artur Beterbiev, the damaging Russian’s 91-year-old co-promoter expects him to annihilate Anthony Yarde on Saturday evening in London.

If the closely favored Beterbiev beats Yarde, who’s the necessary challenger for his WBO gentle heavyweight title, Arum hopes to lastly match Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) in opposition to unbeaten WBA champ Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) in a full title unification struggle later this 12 months. Arum emphasised once more, although, that the long-awaited Beterbiev-Bivol battle can solely turn into a actuality if ESPN is granted the broadcasting rights to their 12-round, 175-pound championship match in america and Canada.

Arum’s firm, Prime Rank Inc., has an unique output take care of ESPN, which is out there in additional than 80 million households in america. Beterbiev relocated from Russia to Montreal, one in all Canada’s most populous cities, after showing on the 2012 Summer time Olympics in London.

The 32-year-old Bivol, who nonetheless resides in Russia, works with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, one in all two promotional firms, together with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions, that works completely with DAZN. Every of Bivol’s previous six fights have been streamed by DAZN, which distributed his career-changing upset of Canelo Alvarez on its pay-per-view platform final Could 7 from T-Cell Area in Las Vegas.

“We’d love to try this struggle,” Arum informed when requested about Beterbiev-Bivol, “however clearly it must be on ESPN. We might work out one thing with DAZN in sure areas, however in america and Canada, it must be on the ESPN platform. If Hearn is prepared to try this, then we’re glad to do the struggle any time, anywhere. We’re simply not gonna do it in Russia.”

Beterbiev-Bivol would do enormous enterprise in Russia below regular circumstances, however ESPN, DAZN and the 4 sanctioning organizations Beterbiev and Bivol symbolize wouldn’t need their struggle to happen there so long as Russia’s battle with Ukraine continues. Regardless, Arum hopes some of the significant fights that may be made in boxing materializes as a result of it might draw an enormous viewers for boxing to ESPN.

“If it’s on ESPN, there can be an enormous viewers, perhaps two million properties,” Arum mentioned. “And other people wouldn’t need to pay additional to observe it, as a result of it wouldn’t be on ESPN+, it might be on ESPN.”

Arum believes Bivol and his workforce should push Hearn to make Beterbiev-Bivol occur subsequent. Hearn has been open about wanting Bivol to defend his WBA belt in opposition to one other contender Hearn’s firm promotes, London’s Joshua Buatsi (16-0, 13 KOs), in his subsequent bout.

“I believe if Bivol pushes Hearn or Vadim Kornilov, a great man who’s [Bivol’s] supervisor, pushes Hearn, you already know, it’ll occur,” Arum mentioned. “In the event that they don’t push Hearn, it received’t occur.”

In the meantime, Arum anticipates Beterbiev, who turned 38 final Saturday, to maintain his good knockout file intact in opposition to Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) in a foremost occasion ESPN+ will stream in america (3:30 p.m. ET). The 31-year-old Yarde, of Ilford, England, has been stopped by former WBO gentle heavyweight champ Sergey Kovalev (35-4-1, 29 KOs) and misplaced a 12-round cut up resolution to British rival Lyndon Arthur (21-1, 15 KOs), whom Yarde knocked out within the fourth spherical of their rematch.

“Beterbiev appears to be like like he’s impregnable,” Arum mentioned. “I’ve been shocked with Beterbiev. Guys can hit him and it doesn’t appear to have an effect on him. He all the time appears to discover a option to knock any individual out. To me, his knockout win in opposition to [former WBC champ Oleksandr] Gvozdyk [in October 2019] confirmed that he’s a terrific fighter who’s gonna be very, very robust to beat. And he dealt with Joe Smith prefer it was a chunk of cake [a second-round technical knockout last June 18]. So, Beterbiev is an actual expertise. I’ve by no means seen a lightweight heavyweight hit as onerous as Beterbiev.”

Keith Idec is a senior author/columnist for He will be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

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