Panel: What happens if Russian light-heavyweights Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol meet in the ring this year?

This week’s panellists were asked to pick a winner in a potential light-heavyweight battle between Russian’s Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev

Paul Butler (WBO bantamweight belt-holder)

It’s a brilliant fight. People give Bivol more respect now because of the way he dealt with Canelo. Beforehand nine out 10 would tell you Beterbiev beats and maybe stops him. But Bivol’s foot movement is amazing and he controls a fight so well behind his jab. I still don’t think we’ve really seen him pushed yet and I think he has more gears. I’ll pick Bivol on points.

Chris Billam-Smith (European cruiserweight champion)

An interesting fight. I think Bivol can definitely win rounds, but the edge in punch power goes to Beterbiev and I think he’d break Bivol down and take him out late. If it went to points, it’d be a razor thin decision.

Shabaz Masoud (Super-bantamweight prospect)

I think Beterbiev knocks Bivol out. I really rate Beterbiev, I think he should be on the pound-for-pound list, and I think he clears up in the division. Also, if he can carry the power up and put on a bit more size, he is a serious threat at heavyweight too

Eric Donovan (Super-featherweight contender)

I think Beterbiev is the most devastating fighter and has that killer attitude. If he hurts you, he will take your soul. There’s no coming back. Bivol, on the other hand, is the more clinical technician, but equally ferocious when he finds his flow. I’ll lean towards Bivol in a cracking encounter between Russian powerhouses.

Artur Beterbiev celebrates win over Joe Smith Jnr in New York (Photo by Elsa / Getty Images)

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