By Alexey Sukachev
Light heavyweight Dmitry Bivol (13-0, 11 KOs) is undeniably one of Russia’s top new stars. The Russian is coming off a major knockout win over Australian Trent Broadhurst, which has officially confirmed his claim of the WBA light heavyweight champion. Vsenabox conducted an interview with Vadim Kornilov, who is Bivol’s manager, about his fighter's immediate and more distant plans, as well as about the current state of the division, partially dominated by the Russian boxers.
Dmitry is coming off a spectacular win over [Trent] Broadhurst. What is your impression. It wasn't too short, was it?
As always, Dmitry is exceeding everyone’s expectations. He is great, let me put it straight. That is what experts and TV expects from him: not only to win but to win spectacularly. Was it too short? As I know, American TV loves knockouts, and they love them coming fast. So, no, I don’t think it has ended too early. It has ended just in time. Everyone is thrilled with an exciting, dominant and fast win.
It’s expected that Bivol will conduct several fights in 2018. Do you have any dates or opponents set?
The very next fight is being planned for February or March in the States. It might be a “World of Boxing” show in the state of New York. But the venue is just being discussed. A possible opponent is Sullivan Barrera of Cuba. Barrera has already agreed to conduct this fight, as far as I know. So be it. Both Dmitry and his head coach Gennady Mashyanov are interested in this fight, and we shall answer their hopes by trying to make it as soon as possible.
Don’t you plan on having any of Dmitry’s defenses of the WBA title in Russia?
We do. Of course, it is an intriguing opportunity, and hence the World of Boxing is very interested in making it. We have already conducted some talks with the HBO, and they said if the opportunity presented itself, they would follow up with the same type of card, which was held in Monaco. Given that, we shall aim at a homeland defense in the second half of 2018. What Russian fans want of this weight class, what they are most interested in are unification fights between the champions. We shall sit and see an entire picture after all of the proposed fights will be fought. As they are taking their places it will be clearer what will be an assortment of possible clashes in the second half of 2018.
Have you seen Artur Beterbiev fight?
Yeah, we have seen it. As he always does, Artur showed solid firepower. We were rooting for him, and we are glad another Russian became a world champion. It’s too early to even think of the fights between the Russian champions. But I’m sure that had a fight between Bivol and Beterbiev been realized, it would have been a true drama for the fight fans. Just what they want.
Sergey Kovalev has another light heavyweight title. What do you think of a possible encounter between Russia’s best?
I think it’s too early to discuss a possible fight between Dmitry and Sergey. It’s not a pleasant state of the game that we have in this weight class, as all of the champions, aside from [WBC] Adonis Stevenson, are from Russia [Igor Mikhalkin of Russia also holds the IBO belt]. We prefer to fight fighters from all over the world. But if it’s a natural situation, an inevitable way of avoiding it – then we shall have fights between the best no matter what country they represent. Boxing is about personality, individuals, so those bouts are inevitable at the very end.