By Miguel Rivera
Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera is really looking forward to his scheduled showdown with WBA world champion Dmitry Bivol - but he wants both sides to undergo VADA testing for performance enhancing drugs.
The HBO televised fight is set to take place on March 3rd at The Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City.
According to Barrera, Bivol and his handlers have delayed the acceptance of taking part in a VADA-handled drug testing protocol.
During a first approach, Barrera (21-1, 14 KO) and his camp were asked if they were willing to pay the $10,000 fee for the anti-doping protocol costs.
When Barrera agreed to this figure, he says team behind Bivol (12-0, 10 KO) had disappeared from the negotiating table with respect to that topic.
"Doping in Russia is part of their culture," Barrera said to George Ebro. "This is my chance to play a world title and I just want everything to be fair. I find it very strange that my team has been trying to finish the contract for the fight for three weeks and they won't provide an answer regarding the VADA tests.''
"I'm not saying that Bivol is a dirty boxer, I'm just asking him to do the tests in order to go into the fight with a clear mind, for him and me. I do not see that there should be any problem in that. What is the problem?"
Barrera has gone as far as to state that he won't take part in the upcoming fight if Bivol does not agree to have a drug testing protocol involved in their match.
"We have been pushing to find a solution to this," said Luis Molina, Barrera's manager. "We are in 2018 and everyone has access to emails or telephone texts. I do not understand what the delay may be. At the end of the day, if there is no [protocol], there will be no fight. ''