By Vadim Pushkin
Last night, WBA interim-light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol made a big statement when he knocked down Samuel Clarkson three times en route to a fourth-round TKO in the main event of a Showtime televised card from MGM National Harbor in Maryland.
Bivol (10-0, 8 KOs) is the mandatory challenger to WBA "regular" champion Nathan Cleverly and he wants that shot as soon as possible.
The WBA's "super" champion is Andre Ward, who defends that belt against Sergey Kovalev in a rematch on June 17th in Las Vegas.
Cleverly has yet to schedule his next fight, although there have been rumors of several opponents who are promoted by Sauerland Event.
“I’m definitely ready for my title shot against Cleverly in my next fight. I’m ready," Bivol said.
According to Bivol's trainer Dmitry Kirillov, the target right now is Cleverly and then a few fights down the line they could take tougher bouts against countrymen Artur Beterbiev and Sergey Kovalev.
"I think that in the future [he could face Kovalev or Beterbiev], not now, but in the near future, Dmitry will have to meet with boxers like Kovalev or Beterbiev. These are top fighters at their peak, so there's no escaping these things. If you want to be the best, then you have to fight the best if everything is in order. If Dmitry is confident of victory, of course we will be able to explore fights with both Beterbiev and Kovalev," Kirillov said by telephone to Oleg Bogatov.
"Of course, our goal is to go to the big fights and titles. Although Dmitry has one of the major titles, it is an interim, but the competition it is very deep, and there will be times when to conquer and defend will be difficult. Of course, we must strive to enter the ring against the strongest out there, but there are political issues.... we want to go out and win the right to be the undisputed champion of the world."