As a few BLH members and I predicted, the Beterbiev- Smith Jr. turned out to be a mismatch. The bout result brought me +$300 to my $500 bet which are already spent by my wife to obtain a kitchen furniture, oh well.
Now at LHW there is an only interesting matchup, it's Beterbiev versus Bivol. Others get destroyed by Artur and outboxed by Dmitry. You can argue that Benavidez (if he moves up), Ramirez and Browne have a good chance to hang with Bivol, but I see those matchups as 65%-35 in favor of Bivol right now. So let's talk a bit about Beterbiev-Bivol.
If Beterbiev-Bivol happens this year or in 2023, I can see Bivol being ahead on judges' scorecards before getting knocked out in rounds 8-12.
Why do I think so?
Bivol-Smith Jr., Bivol-Canelo and Beterbiev-Smith Jr. fights gave me some hints.
First, Joe very seldom delivered accurate punches to Dmitry, but when connected, his punches really bothered and once absolutely stunned Bivol. Artur's punches are more accurate and have definitely more power than Joe's.
Second, Bivol ate some good shots from Canelo when he backed up to the ropes. He took them quite well, but Canelo's and Artur's punching power are on different levels, Dima cannot afford those conditions in a fight against the Chechen. Once Dima gets stuck in the ropes or in the corner, that moment might be a beginning of the inevitable end.
Third, despite his age, Beterbiev seems getting better and better - his lateral movement avoiding Joe's dangerous right-hand side and quick start in recent fight are something new I haven't seen in him before. His fight strategy was money, and he barely ate a worthy punch from Joe. A brilliant performance, hands down.
So, considering all mentioned above nuances, I come to a conclusion that Beterbiev-Bivol fight will be a very competitive, Bivol's fast footwork and flash counter-punching abilities frustrate Beterbiev 7-8 rounds, but while winning most of those rounds Dima eats some nasty head & body shots that make him slower and finally Beterbiev knocks him out in later rounds (see pattern - Beterbiev-Gvozdyk bout). There is almost no way for Bivol to keep the King Artur off of him a whole 36 minutes - that's a lot.
But Bivol is 6 years younger and stay in prime 3-4 years from now and Beterbiev is 37 years old, his reflexes are going to decline step by step from now on. Father Time catches everyone. So I can see Bivol outboxing Beterbiev, if a fight is made in 2024 or even later.
And You, my BLH fellow - what is Your opinion on an outcome of Beterbiev-Bivol fight? Do You agree with me or not?
P. S. I would like to add a poll "Who wins Beterbiev-Bivol fight within two years?", but couldn't find how to make it. Maybe it's not available anymore, I don't know.
Another man who represents a real threat to Artur Beterbiev is his old rival in Oleksandr Usyk if they meet in cruiser weight, but that is a different story...