WBA orders Dmitry Bivol vs. Sullivan Barrera negotiations
By Stanley White: The World Boxing Association has ordered negotiations to begin for a fight between WBA World light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) and his mandatory challenger Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs).
The WBA’s order comes from the president of the WBA Gilberto Mendoza, who ordered the negotiations to begin as of yesterday, November 27.
”I inform that Barrera is the mandatory challenger for Bivol and on Monday 11/27 they should start negotiations,” said Mendoza on his Twitter.
The proposed fight between Bivol and Barrera will take place in March or April of next year. There’s also a chance that Barrera could fight WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev.
If Bivol doesn’t face Barrera, then it’ll be Kovalev-Barrera. It probably doesn’t matter much to the 26-year-old Bivol. He’s not going anywhere for a long time. He’s looking really solid and entrenched as the WBA champion. It’s going to take someone special to beat Bivol. It’s doubtful that Barrera or Kovalev have what it takes to beat Bivol with the way he’s fighting right now.
Barrera, 35, locked himself into position to challenge Bivol for his WBA title after beating Felix Valera (15-1, 13 KO’s) by a 12 round unanimous decision last Saturday night on the undercard of the Sergey Kovalev vs. Vyacheslav Shabranskyy card at Madison Square Garden in New York.
In addition to a potential fight against Bivol, Barrera spoke of there being a chance of him fighting newly crowned WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev next. Kovalev already said at the post-fight press conference that he would like to fight Barrera next. That would be an easy fight to make, because both guys are with Main Events. It’s arguably a better fight for Barrera, considering that Kovalev is well-known in the U.S, and he’s coming off of back to back PPV fights on HBO against Andre Ward.
If Barrera feels he’s got the talent to unseat Kovalev, then that might be the fight for him to take rather than the younger, less known 26-year-old Bivol. That would be a risky fight for Barrera. Bivol hits really hard with both hands, and he’s a lot younger than Barrera.
Barrera looked good at times last Saturday against Felix Valera. However, when Valera was letting his hands go, he was catching Barrera repeatedly with left hooks to the head and right hooks. Valera was especially effective when he was fighting out of the southpaw stance and hitting Barrera with right hooks on the way in. It’s unclear why Valera abandoned that strategy, because he was getting the better of Barrera at times.