Andrade targets GGG as Bivol prepares for Smith Jr showdown
Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images
Demetrius Andrade is targeting Gennady Golovkin while Dmitry Bivol is preparing to face Joe Smith Jr and Eddie Hearn is promising "big announcements" in the next few weeks. Chris Glover rounds up all the post-fight comments and reaction in New York...
Demetrius Andrade successfully defended his WBO middleweight title on Friday evening as it was also confirmed that WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol had signed a deal with DAZN and would square off against the man who ended Bernard Hopkins' career, Joe Smith Jr.
Smith Jr, who has a Rocky-style story of working his way to the top, opened up about getting the opportunity to fight the excellent Bivol.
Smith Jr said, “I’m very grateful to be given this opportunity. I think that the time is right now for me to become a world champion.
“If Bivol comes to have a fight then somebody could end up getting knocked out. I’m training hard for this fight and I believe it’s going to be an explosive fight.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn weighed in on his link up with Bivol and World of Boxing, and gave his take on the Bivol vs Smith Jr fight.
He said, “I’m delighted to link up with World of Boxing. They have a fantastic stable, arguably one of the best in World Boxing.
“Bivol vs Smith Jr is a fantastic fight and it will be an unmissable clash at the Turning Stone Resort.
"Smith Jr deserves this opportunity and will look to take it with both hands and Bivol will want to look good so he can go on to unification fights in the future. It’s going to be an explosive fight.”
It was also revealed that Bivol has plans to move down to 168lbs at some point, in an attempt to become a two-weight world champion.
During the post-fight press conference following Andrade’s victory over Artur Akavov, the Rhode Island native opened up on what he wanted next. The two-division world titlist said, “I would go up to 168lbs for a big fight as I want the big names. Eddie Hearn is making these big fights happen and I want to be in them.
“I would love to fight GGG [Gennady Golovkin] next if that fight can happen. I just want to fight the big names of the division and prove that I am the number one fighter in the middleweight division.”
Promoter Eddie Hearn echoed these sentiments and also opened up on future plans for Matchroom Boxing.
Hearn said, “We’re looking to make the biggest fights possible that can be made. That was our plan with Canelo and Jacobs and we delivered.
“I wanted the Maurice Hooker vs Jorge Linares fight but that won’t happen now. We’re working on Kell Brook vs Jesse Vargas and Anthony Joshua will either box in April or June. There are some big announcements coming in the next few weeks.”
Hearn also revealed that Tevin Farmer will defend his IBF super featherweight title on St Patrick’s Day in Philadelphia, on a show that will also feature Katie Taylor.