THE manager of Dmitry Bivol says their target is Artur Beterbiev and not a rematch against Canelo Alvarez.

Vadim Kornilov is not convinced that the Mexican wants to fight his client a second time and described the idea of fighting on the same terms as last time as “absurd”.

Canelo has more than once laid out his demands in public that everything be the same as their first fight, which means taking on Bivol once again at light-heavyweight. The 32-year-old is the current super-middleweight champion but had already dipped his toes into the waters one division up when he beat Sergey Kovalev in 2019.

“In my opinion I think they don’t want the rematch and they are saying that to justify themselves and make another fight like they did with [Gennadiy] Golovkin, John Ryder and maybe [Edgar] Berlanga,” Kornilov told ESPN Knockout.

“A rematch can’t happen on the same terms as the fight you lost. It is absurd. We are looking forward. Artur Beterbiev is our target.”

Beterbiev returns on August 19 in Quebec City, Ontario when he puts his light-heavyweight belts on the line against Callum Smith.

Canelo fought on May 6 against John Ryder in a Guadalajara homecoming for the Mexican icon at the Estadio Akron. Alvarez ran out a comfortable winner over the 12 rounds despite Ryder’s stubborn display.

Speaking afterwards he said: “Everybody knows we want Bivol, the rematch with Bivol. If the fight with Bivol don’t happen, then we’ll see [about fighting someone else]. I’m able to fight everybody. Yeah, [I want it at] 175…. same rules, same terms, same everything. I just want it that way.”

Bivol said previously that his preferred option would be to move down to 168lbs and challenge Canelo for his crown at that weight.

This past week David Benavidez promoter Sampson Lewkowicz revealed that he had sent a “lucrative” fight offer to the leading super-middleweight. Canelo’s trainer and manager Eddy Reynoso denied ever receiving one. Lewkowicz then used Twitter to show proof of the correspondence he sent to Canelo’s team regarding the offer.

Bivol, unbeaten in 21 fights, is still to fight this year. The 32-year-old Russian proved he was a level above Gilberto Ramirez in November beating the Mexican on points in Abu Dhabi.