Dmitry Bivol's next opponent Sullivan Barrera has only been beaten my one man, Andre Ward.
Back in March 2016, respected Cuban Barrera dropped a unanimous decision in Ward's hometown of Oakland, and Bivol has paid close attention to that performance.
On a media call last week, he was asked if he will look to deploy some of the same tactics as Ward when he defends his WBA World Title on March 3rd, live on BoxNation.
"Ward showed a lot of good speed in the fight. He showed a lot of good movement, a lot of body movement in the fight, and possibly this is some of the things I would like to use in the fight as well.
"I'm not lining up to necessarily knock him down or send him down in the first round. I'm going to assess the situation to see how the fight is going."
The hard-hitting Light-Heavyweight won his first six fights by knockout before picking up the WBA Interim belt in his next bout. Last year, he was elevated to full Champion status when Badou Jack vacated.
Despite having just 12 professional fights (with 10 knockouts), Bivol has already gained plenty of fans for his destructive fighting style.
"When I come out to fight, I always try to fight with a high IQ. I want to make sure that I'm responsible for the movement that I make and I understand what's going on," he explained.
"I'm always thinking on my feet. But, of course, after the fight, I want to make sure that the fight was also entertaining for the fans and the fans would like to see me fight again and are excited about me fighting."
Born in Kyrgyzstan, he took up boxing aged six before moving to Russia when he was 11. Now living in St Petersburg, the 27-year-old says he can't wait to fight in the Big Apple for the first time.
"I'm very excited about my debut in New York and, of course, to be fighting at Madison Square Garden [Theater]. My trainer's dream is to have his main fighter fight in the main event, in Madison Square Garden. This is a small step towards that dream for him," added Bivol.
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