Turki Alalshikh determined to make Artur Beterbiev vs Dmitry Bivol, wants winner to face Jai Opetaia – Ring News 24 | Boxing News

Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol

The chairman of the General Entertainment Authority in Saudi Arabia has revealed his plans to not only make the highly anticipated light heavyweight unification bout between WBC, WBO and IBF champion Artur Beterbiev 20-0 (20) and WBA champion Dmitry Bivol 22-0 (11), but to match the winner with Ring Magazine cruiserweight champion Jai Opetaia 24-0 (19).

Canadian-based Russian Beterbiev, 38, successfully defended his world titles with a seventh-round knockout of Callum Smith 29-2 (21) last weekend. Russian Bivol, 33, defeated Lyndon Arthur 23-2 (16) on points in his last fight on December 23.

Boxing powerbroker Turki Alalshikh wants to match the pair of 175-pounders to determine exactly who is the best light heavyweight of this generation. But Alalshikh is not stopping there. He wants the winner to move up in weight to 200-pounds to challenge 28-year-old Australian Opetaia, who is scheduled to defend his world championship against Mairis Briedis 28-2 (20) in a rematch in Saudi Arabia on February 17.

“The people need to see Artur-Bivol,” Alalshikh said in an interview with DAZN’s Ade Oladipo. “What I want to see, I want to see the [winner] of Artur and Bivol against Opetaia. You understand me? Yeah, this is what I hope to have. We need to see this fight.”

Alalshikh emerged as one of the most powerful people in boxing last year with his ability to put together big fights by handing out blank cheques. The ‘Day of Reckoning’ card two days before Christmas featured four of The Ring’s top 10 heavyweights along with separate world title fights featuring Bivol and Opetaia. On February 17 WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 21-0 (14) will unify with WBC counterpart Tyson Fury 34-0-1 (24), while on March 8 Anthony Joshua 27-3 (24) will face Francis Ngannou 0-1 on another stacked card.

Alalshikh has shown, in a short period of time, that he knows how to make the fights that the fans want to see. If the Beterbiev vs Bivol bout does come together it will take place after the holy month of Ramadan, which runs from 9 March 2024 to 8 April 2024. The northern summer would likely be the target for the fight.

“The biggest [fight] is Tyson and Usyk now, okay?” Alalshikh said. “It never happened before, four [heavyweight titles] at the same times. But as a fan, Artur and Bivol is huge, as a fan. Maybe in some [regions] doesn’t have a lot of pay-per-view [interest]. I understand this. And this is why a lot of promoters doesn’t take the risk, because this will cost a lot.

“But we take the risk, and we talk with them. And now it is only about the details because you know Artur is [a] brother. He is Muslim and he have Ramadan. And in Ramadan, he cannot train a lot, you know? We need to give him space to be ready [for] this fight.”