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Will Artur Beterbiev-Dmitry Bivol Winner Face David Benavidez Next?

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A report that Saudi Arabia’s most powerful boxing broker would like to stage a David Benavidez bout in December against the winner of the June 1 undisputed light heavyweight title match between Russians Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol is compelling leverage.

Make no mistake, Benavidez’s manager told Boxing Scene on Monday, his fighter’s preference is still to press Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for a September date in Las Vegas.

“It’s very good that everyone’s talking [about Benavidez],” Sampson Lewkowicz, Benavidez’s promoter, told Boxing Scene in a telephone interview. “For me, now, I’m quiet.”

That’s because Lewkowicz is bullish on the drawing power that Amazon Prime Video will have on behalf of the sport.

Prime Video’s union with Premier Boxing Champions, which will promote Alvarez’s and Benavidez’s upcoming fights, will begin Saturday with a Las Vegas pay-per-view card headlined by junior middleweight champion Tim Tszyu’s two-belt title bout against Sebastian Fundora.

Alvarez (60-2-2, 39 KOs) will then defend his undisputed super middleweight title May 4 in a Prime Video pay-per-view against Mexican countryman Jaime Munguia, an unbeaten former junior middleweight world champion.

Alvarez’s request for a minimum of $150 million to fight Benavidez (28-0, 24 KOs) “is not crazy to me,” Lewkowicz said.

That point is hooked to the idea that a Prime Video pay-per-view between Alvarez and Benavidez would need to generate at least 1.6 million buys at $100 each, while also producing a significant live gate.

An industry official told Boxing Scene that Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis has expressed interest in hosting an Alvarez fight at Allegiant Stadium – home of Super Bowl 58 – which could be fitted for a seating capacity up to 70,000.

If the average cost for a ticket to an Alvarez-Benavidez fight amounted to $600, that would translate to a $42 million live gate.

“David only wants a $5 million purse,” Lewkowicz said. “He wants to win, become a star and then make the money. It’s not about money for him right now. It’s about legacy.”

A wrinkle in that plan was highlighted in last weekend’s report from talkSPORT.com’s Michael Benson, in which he wrote that he “understands” Saudi Arabia’s Turki Alalshikh “would prefer” to match Benavidez with the Beterbiev-Bivol winner in a December fight in Saudi Arabia.

Benavidez is scheduled to meet former light heayweight titleholder Oleksandr Gvozdyk on June 15 on a Prime Video pay-per-view in Las Vegas. And while Beterbiev and Bivol have a rematch clause, a Benavidez bout could be squeezed in between those fights, according to the talkSPORT.com report.

Neither Lewkowicz, Beterbiev promoter Bob Arum nor Bivol manager Vadim Kornilov have spoken to Alalshikh about such a plan, they told Boxing Scene.

Certainly, Benavidez would earn more than $5 million to participate in the Saudi Arabia bout and, given the lucrative purses that have flowed from the oil-rich nation during the last few years, there likely wouldn’t be resistance from PBC denying Benavidez from accepting that Middle East appointment.

Yet, the interest from the Benavidez camp for now is domestic.

“I’m worried about [Canelo winning] May 4 and [Benavidez emerging victorious] June 15,” Lewkowicz said.

“And then we can all talk.”

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