Dmitry Bivol vs. Sullivan Barrera still on for Mar.3
By Jeff Aranow: Vadim Kornilov, the manager for WBA World light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs), says they have no issues with the VADA testing for his title defense against mandatory challenger Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs) on March 3 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Barrera, 35, recently questioned whether Bivol would be agreeing to the VADA testing or not. Barrera sent out a Tweet on the testing, which created a firestorm. In response to Barrera’s questioning of Bivol, a lot of boxing fans and some journalist questioned whether the Bivol-Barrera fight was on shaky ground. However, nothing has changed. The fight is still taking place on March 3 on HBO Boxing. It would be crazy for Barrera to back out of his mandatory title shot against Bivol, because it’s an opportunity for him to challenge for the WBA 175lb. title. If Barrera loses out on this fight, then he would have to wait for Kovalev to give a voluntary title shot.
Here’s what Bivol’s manager Kornilov said to RingTV.com on the VADA testing for the Barrera fight:
“No problem at all from our side! We were thinking of doing VADA testing initially, as I do with all my fighters like Ruslan, Viktor Postol, etc. Then the representatives of Barrera said that they are in the Clean Boxing Program with the WBC anyway, and they don’t want to pay anything extra for a specific VADA testing protocol. We are ready to do it and we have already sent in our VADA enrollment form for Bivol to VADA!”
Bivol looks good to go with the VADA testing for the Barrera fight. Bivol and Barrera will be fighting in the co-feature bout on the Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev vs. Igor Mihalkin card. Light heavyweight champion Kovalev will be making his first defense against the obscure fringe contender Mihalkin that his promoters at Main Events have dug up for him to fight. It’s not a good fight on paper, but HBO agreed to it, so hopefully it turns out to be more interesting than some of their fights from 2017. Bivol vs. Barrera could save the televised portion of the HBO card. At least that promises to be a good fight.
Here’s what Barrera said on his Twitter on Friday about the VADA testing for the Bivol fight:
”After training today my team tell [told] me Bivol will do VADA. Let’s see if [he] really does. Very strange. He took 3 weeks to say, ‘yes,’ to VADA. I already do my paperwork. I believe him when he does too. See you March 3. #barrerabivol.”
Barrera needs to focus on preparing for the Bivol fight, and not his energy on worrying about the VADA testing. Barrera already lost to Andre Ward in 2016. If Barrera doesn’t have his head on straight, he could get knocked out quickly by Bivol on March 3. Bivol’s last opponent Trent Broadhurst was knocked out in the 1st round by the first hard right hand from him. In Bivol’s last 4 fights, none of his opponents have gotten past the 4th round against him.
These are the results of Bivol’s last 4 fights:
• Trent Broadhurst – KO 1
• Cedric Agnew – TKO 4
• Samuel Clarkson – TKO 4
• Robert Berridge – TKO 4
Bivol is knocking guys out and looking near unbeatable. It’s impressive to see how devastating 26-year-old fighter from Kyrgyzstan is looking. The Cuban Barrera is looking sharp as well, but he’s not knocking guys out in 4 rounds or less the way that Bivol is right now.
This is Barrera’s last 4 matches:
• Felix Valera – UD 10
• Joe Smith Jr. – UD 10
• Paul Parker – TKO 5
• Vyacheslav Shabrankyy – KO 7
Bivol beat Felix Valera as well, but he was more impressive. Bivol defeated Valera by a 12 round unanimous decision on May 21, 2016. Bivol knocked Valera down two times in the bout in dropping him in round 6 and 8. Barrera was knocked down hard in the 1st round by Valera. Barrera ended up winning the fight by a clear 10 round decision, but the scores would have been closer if the referee Mike Ortega didn’t penalize Valera three times in the fight in deducting points in rounds 3, 6 and 8. Ortega showed zero patience for low blows from Valera.
Hopefully, Barrera isn’t going to be complaining all the way up to the point of the fight against Bivol. It would be better if Barrera was hyping their fight instead of talking about drug testing so much. It’s better if the boxing fans are hearing a positive message about the match rather than stuff about drug testing.
Bivol could be the next superstar for the 175-lb. division. He’s expected to beat Barrera, and then move on to face Kovalev, and IBF champion Artur Beterbiev. If Bivol defeats Kovalev and Beterbiev in unification fights, it’ll be interesting to see if WBC champion Adonis Stevenson will agree to fight him. It would look bad on Stevenson’s part if he refuses to face Bivol. The fans would think Stevenson is ducking the fight if he fails to agree to it.