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Dmitry Bivol: “I Need To Be Undisputed Champion”

By: Hans Themistode

At the age of 30, WBA light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol, is presumably in the middle of his prime. Over the years, the Russian native has built a solid overall resume which includes wins over Sullivan Barrera, Jean Pascal and newly crowned WBO belt holder, Joe Smith Jr.

Still, even with those wins under his belt, Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) believes he hasn’t taken full advantage of his talents. In order to do so, there is only one thing that he feels he needs to accomplish.

“I need to get four belts,” said Bivol during a recent virtual press conference. “I need to be undisputed champion. I want to realize my potential.”

Aside from himself and previously mentioned Joe Smith Jr., the remaining belt holder in the 175-pound division is unified champion Artur Beterbiev. With both men heading towards a collision course later this year, all Bivol can do is sit back and wait his turn. In doing so, Bivol wants more activity in his career. The WBA titlist hasn’t stepped foot inside the ring since a 12 round unanimous decision victory over Lenin Castillo in October of 2019.

In an effort to return to form, Bivol will face fringe contender Craig Richards in Manchester Arena this coming weekend. Should he do what many are expecting, which is pick up the win, promoter Eddie Hearn wants a quick turnaround for Bivol to keep his motor going.

At the moment, Bivol is more concerned with the man standing in front of him on Saturday night as opposed to worrying about an uncertain future. With that said, the Russian product knows good and well that although Richards is considered a light touch, a win is vital to his career aspirations.

Whether it’s a showdown with Beterbeiv or a rematch with more at stake against Smith Jr., Bivol simply wants to lace his waist with more gold.

“I just need more belts, I want to fight against the guy who has the belts.”

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