WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol of Russia is training hard for a scheduled defense in December and is currently preparing with three sparring partners at a training camp in Krasnodar.

Bivol will defend his belt against compatriot Umar Salamov on December 11 in Yekaterinburg.

Bivol has no defeats in the professional ring, having scored 18 victories (11 of them by knockout). Salamov has picked up 26 wins (19 by knockout) with one defeat.

“I know my opponent, I've seen some of his fights,” Bivol said to Oleg Bogatov.

“This is a tall guy, a serious and fairly technical boxer. He should have fought for the WBO championship - now I will meet with him. I have been training for several weeks in Krasnodar, and I plan to fly to Yekaterinburg on December 4 or 5. Previously, two sparring partners were working with me, now three are training, and then there will be two again. There is someone to train with and there are always spare sparring partners.

"All of [the sparring partners] are our guys who act in a manner similar to that of Salamov. What is Salamov's danger? First, this is boxing, and, second, we have an opponent who also wants to win and who has his own ambitions. It is always better in a fight to first study your opponent."

The bout will be the second of the year for Bivol, who won a twelve round unanimous decision over British fighter Craig Richards in May.

Salamov was scheduled to take part in a WBO light heavyweight tournament, which saw Joe Smith become the eventual winner. For Salamov's part, he was knocked out of the tournament after testing positive for COVID-19. Salamov has won seven fights in a row since suffering his sole career defeat, a decision loss to Damien Hooper in 2017.