A fight between Russian light-heavyweights Dmtitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev was this afternoon (April 15) confirmed at a press conference in London, England.

Bivol, 22-0 (11), is the current WBA light-heavyweight champion and a fine technician last seen outpointing Lyndon Arthur over 12 rounds in December. Meanwhile, Beterbiev, 20-0 (20) and considered the puncher of the two, presently holds the WBC, IBF and WBO versions of the light-heavyweight crown. In his last fight, Beterbiev broke the resolve of Callum Smith, another Brit, in seven rounds.

Talked about for some time now, this meeting of Bivol, 33, and Beterbiev, 39, is as good a match as can be made not only in the light-heavyweight division but in boxing, full stop. It seemed a natural fight to make from the moment the two Russians both emerged as world champions, but has frustratingly taken its time to materialise. Now, though, thanks to the undeniable wealth and power of Turki Al-Alshaikh, the fight between Bivol and Beterbiev arrives on June 1 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“This is a great fight for not only me but boxing fans,” said Bivol. “Everybody who loves boxing would ask me, ‘When are you going to fight Beterbiev? When are you going to make this fight?’ Saudi Arabia made this fight. Thank you.

“Of course I am happy, because when I signed the contract to be a pro boxer I had a goal to be undisputed champion and everything I went through was for this goal. Even the fight against Canelo (Alvarez), it was my ticket for big fights and now I am happy that I will have a fight on June 1st for all the belts.

“Every time I am in training camp I think my opponent is the most dangerous fighter in the world. These thoughts help me to focus and be serious in my training camp. Of course he (Beterbiev) is one of the most dangerous opponents. You see on his record and in his fights that he is powerful and it makes me more excited to fight against this guy because I love challenges. I love to be tested. This fight is a huge test for me.

“I have good skills. I believe in my skills. I love this sport and I think my experience will help me. My mentality and my skills, and my camp, help me believe.”

Less talkative, and a man of action, Beterbiev said: “I’m collecting belts and I need one more. I will prepare for this fight and try to be ready and one hundred per cent.”