DAN AZEEZ is close to securing the biggest fight of his career so far.
The 33-year-old British light-heavyweight is in talks to face WBA belt holder and 2022 Fighter of the Year Dmitry Bivol.
Eddie Hearn works with Bivol 21-0 (11) alongside World of Boxing and has done since the Russian signed a promotional deal with Matchroom in January 2019. The unbeaten 32-year-old is now regarded as pound-for-pound one of the best boxers in the world. His résumé features wins against Joe Smith Jr, Craig Richards, Canelo Alvarez and Gilberto Ramirez.
Bivol is on the hunt for his first fight of 2023 with Hearn telling Boxing News in an interview yesterday that part of the reason for that has been due to injury.
BN asked Hearn what will be next for Bivol.
“Bivol, I think will fight Dan Azeez, hopefully if we can get the deal over the line and those negotiations are on going and then we’ll fight the winner of [Callum] Smith and [Artur] Beterbiev.
“I saw a press release saying that he’s fighting Joshua Buatsi. We spoke to Dan Azeez he says he’s not agreed to fight Joshua Buatsi and obviously he’d much rather go straight into the Dmitry Bivol fight than have to fight for an eliminator for Dmitry Bivol.
“[Matchroom CEO] Frank Smith has been negotiating and speaking with Dan Azeez. I like to give British Fighters an opportunity. Dan Azeez appears to be a free agent. It’s a massive opportunity for him and huge money to fight for the world title. It’s up to Dan Azeez really. If he wants to fight for the world title straight off the bat it would probably make sense instead of going for an eliminator, but it’s got to work for him and then Frank Smith will continue negotiations with Dan Azeez.”
Azeez 19-0 (13) has rose to prominence in the light-heavyweight division since beginning a career-changing run of five wins in November 2021. Beating Hosea Burton in impressive fashion for the British title was then followed by successes against Reece Cartwright, Rocky Fielding, Shakan Pitters and most recently Thomas Faure. That triumph in Paris gave Azeez the European title and was the start of his name being linked with bigger names and fights.
BN revealed yesterday that Azeez would not be fighting Joshua Buatsi in a final eliminator contrary to online reports.