Beterbiev’s Trainer ‘Very Optimistic’ Bivol Fight Happens June 1

Artur Beterbiev’s trainer Marc Ramsey believes a long-awaited showdown with fellow Russian Dmitrii Bivol is finally on track for June 1.

An undisputed light heavyweight title fight between Beterbiev and Bivol has been discussed since both men shared ownership of the 175 pound belts. The arrival of Saudi Arabia into the boxing world, with its generous purses, has made the fight more realistic than ever before.

“I think the fight is going to happen,” Ramsey said, in an exclusive interview for boxingscene.com. “I think the 1st of June is a good date for the fight. I do know that Artur has a couple of little details, but they are nothing to do with the big stuff, it’s just some side stuff that we have to deal with. But to be honest with you, I am very optimistic for the 1st of June.

“He’s already in the gym now. He is about to go to do high altitude training in Russia for 21 days in March. He will then come back here [Montreal] to finish his nine weeks training camp with me. It will then just be a case of studying Bivol properly, finding the right sparring partners and having the right communication. It’s what we do every training camp. I don’t think there is anything personal here for Artur. He just wants to beat him because it is the person they put in front of him. He just wants to win, he’s real competitive. He’s never going to wait around, he’s not going to wait around for Canelo, wait around for Bivol, he will just fight the fight we need to do.”

Beterbiev-Bivol is due to land in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It will continue the aggressively ambitious approach to boxing promotion led by the country’s Chairman of the General Authority for Entertainment, Turki Alalshikh.

“They have done great with boxing over the last year putting on these big fights,” Ramsey continued. “They have given us the tools to organize these mega fights. I think it is just the beginning for boxing, and for boxing in the country, I think it is wonderful.”

Beterbiev (20-0, 20 KOs) retained his IBF, WBC and WBO world titles with an impressive seventh-round destruction of Callum Smith in Quebec City in January.

“It was a good performance and it was exactly what we were planning,” Ramsey explained. “From the outside, maybe it looked a bit easy, but to break down Callum like this, round by round, little by little bit is very tough. Callum is a very good boxer, he has a great left hook from short distance and a good right hand from long distance. We had a lot to deal with in that fight. Sometimes fans don’t see the details from outside, but it was a sophisticated fight.”

Questions on whether Beterbiev still had ‘it’ lingered heavier than before due to his inactivity and becoming 39 years old.

“Artur is always training,” Ramsey added. “He takes a week off then he is straight back in the gym. Whether it is a little bit of strength and conditioning or a little bit of boxing, he is always doing something. He is never going months and months outside of the gym. Even if we have no opponent scheduled, we will still have a technical objective. Even at 39, we have to be better in training.

“Right now, we see no slowing down from him in the gym. Of course at one point, he’s human like everybody else and getting older. But right now, we see no sign of that. Every single piece of the puzzle is there, it is so easy for a guy like me to coach a talented athlete like this.

“What is fun with Artur is that he is a very hard worker, but he doesn’t follow that much boxing. Like, he didn’t really know who Callum Smith was before he fought him. I had to explain to Artur exactly what we were facing. Even with Bivol, I guarantee to this day that he has never seen the Bivol Vs Canelo fight. But when we do start in training camp, he will study and study video. He will study video of himself then he will study the video of the opponent, everything.

“The thing is, with this type of fighter, he doesn’t really care who he is fighting. He just wants to perform. I don’t have to motivate him actually, he is already giving me the same work in the gym.”