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Bivol 'Upset' He Didn’t Get Shot at Andre Ward Before He Retired

By Keith Idec

NEW YORK – There are attractive fights for Dmitry Bivol within the light heavyweight division.

A potential title unification fight against WBO champion Sergey Kovalev looms as a realistic possibility for sometime in the second half of 2018. The powerful puncher from Kyrgyzstan also acknowledged a desire to fight former amateur teammate Artur Beterbiev, the Russian knockout artist who recently won the IBF 175-pound championship.

As appealing as showdowns with Kovalev (31-2-1, 27 KOs) and Beterbiev (12-0, 12 KOs) might be, the WBA light heavyweight champion admitted over the weekend that there’s one fight he had hoped to land that no longer seems possible.

bivol-ward

Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) is disappointed that Andre Ward retired because facing the undefeated Ward would’ve provided him with an opportunity to knock off a fighter who was generally regarded as the best boxer, pound-for-pound, in the sport. The 26-year-old Bivol benefited from Ward’s retirement because once Ward walked away from the sport and Badou Jack gave up the WBA world title, the WBA elevated Bivol from its interim champion to its world champion.

He would rather have beaten Ward (32-0, 16 KOs) in the ring to earn that distinction, though.

“I’m upset because our division lost a very important opponent for me,” Bivol said through a translator Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. “I think that judging by the last couple fights for Andre Ward, he definitely could’ve stayed for a couple of more and showed more fun battles for his fans.”

While he is disappointed he won’t get to test himself against the 34-year-old Ward, Bivol appreciates the former two-division champion’s decision to leave the sport with his health, wealth and unblemished record intact.

“I’m very happy for him,” Bivol said, “because I’m very happy for all the athletes that can finish their careers on a successful note.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by Real King Kong on 11-28-2017

Ward retired just as the division looks like it's heating up. I wish Stevenson retired instead.

Comment by eco1 on 11-27-2017

these ward nut lickers know Ward lost the first fight and the 2nd one was inconclusive

Comment by HarvardBlue on 11-27-2017

There are plenty of good fighters he can prove his worth against. No need to be upset.

Comment by [email protected] on 11-27-2017

Even though Ward was past his best, mostly due to long layoffs and inactivity. He had just enough to beat these guys. Nothing more to prove

Comment by g27region on 11-27-2017

lol, The kid showed his competitive spirit, said that he wants to fight the best fighters, not scared of any challenges of facing somebody of Ward's caliber at this point and you dumb mother****ers talk **** about him just because…

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