By Luke Furman
WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol was very impressed with the recent performance of Oleksandr Gvozdyk (16-0, 13 KOs), who traveled to Canada and captured the WBC world title with an eleventh round knockout of longtime champion Adonis Stevenson.
“I managed to watch the fight between Stevenson and Gvozdyk,” Bivol said to Oleg Bogatov.
“The fight was fought on event terms, but in the end youth took its toll. Oleksandr is a good guy, he did a good boxing, with which I congratulate him. And I congratulate all of Ukraine, they have another champion on the scene. I assumed that in the second half of the fight, Gvozdyk would be the one to win, because his level of endurance was still higher than that of Stevenson.
“Gvozdyk looked great. He worked well and clinched the win at the right time. I’m happy to accept such a fight. But for now it’s too early to talk about it "
Bivol (15-0, 11 KOs) had recently gone the distance with former world champion Jean Pascal - in a fight where the Russian fighter dominated most of the action. Now he feels ready for a unification clash.
"I've said that I was ready to unite the belts. Now I feel that I am ready for this,” Bivol added. “It doesn’t matter who is in the opposite corner, and most importantly, that this is a man with a belt.”
The head of World of Boxing, Andrei Ryabinsky, who handles Bivol, was impressed with his boxer's recent win and had no issue that Bivol was unable to stop Pascal inside the distance.
“I love boxing, and to me boxing [in the ring] is important - this was not a knockout ending. Moreover, fights without knockouts look spectacular to me. This is telling a story and not an end in itself," Ryabinsky said.
“No boxer is told: go out into the ring and end the fight with a knockout. We all know if you hunt for a knockout, you will never get it. They go out to box and show their class. If you hit, and the opponent falls, that's fine, but if not, you need to be ready to cover the whole distance. It seems to me that the most interesting battles are those that cover the whole distance."
Luke Furman covers boxing for bokser.org.