Dmitry Bivol wants Eleider Alvarez unification fight
By Jim Dower: WBA World light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol is interested in facing WBO light heavyweight champion Eleider Alvarez in a unification fight next later this year following their wins last Saturday night on HBO.
Alvarez (24-0, 12 KOs) snatched the World Boxing Organization 175 pound title in stopping champion Sergey ‘Krusher’ Kovalev (32-3-1, 28 KOs) in the 7th round at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The 27-year-old Bivol (14-0, 11 KOs) did a good job of out-boxing the always tough voluntary challenger Isaac Chilemba (25-6-2, 10 KOs) in beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision in the co-feature but on the Kovalev-Alvarez card last Saturday night.
“I want to fight unification fights against the best guys, and of course I want to make the fight the people want to see,” Bivol said to secondsout. “People want to see me against Kovalev, against Bivol. It’ll be great to give it to them.”
Alvarez will have problems with Bivol’s high work rate, heavy hands and his boxing skills. This isn’t a fight in which the 34-year-old Alvarez can count on Bivol fading after six rounds like Kovalev did. Alvarez is going to get hit a lot by Bivol, and he can expect this fight to go the full 12 rounds if he’s able to take the Russian fighter’s power
Bivol did a better job beating Chilemba compared to Alvarez, who beat him by a close 12 round majority decision three years ago on November 28, 2015. Many boxing fans felt that Chilemba deserved the win over Alvarez. The judges scored it 118-110, 115-113 for Alvarez and 114-114. In contrast, Bivol defeated Chilemba by the scores 120-108, 120-108 and 116-112. Boxing News 24 had Bivol winning wide by an 11 rounds to 1 score. It wasn’t close.
Bivol, 27, may need to wait for Kovalev to face Alvarez in a rematch before he can get a chance at the winner of that fight. Kovalev, 35, has a rematch clause in his contract for his fight last Saturday night, and his promoter Kathy Duva of Main Events expects him to execute it. Kovalev has two months to decide whether he’ll take the rematch with Alvarez. While it’s thought that Kovalev will take the second fight, he might decide on retiring from the sport. Kovalev showed the same problems with his stamina that he showed in his two losses to Andre Ward. Kovalev looked tired by round four against Alvarez, and he was getting hit with a lot of jabs that he should have been able to get out of the way of.
”I saw how Kovalev was tired after four or five rounds [against Alvarez],” Bivol said. ”I saw that he was lowering his right hand a little bit. I saw him taking the jab a little bit from Alvarez,” Bivol said.
Alvarez found it easy to land his jab all night long against Kovalev, but especially after he began to tire. Kovalev was unable to get out of the way of Eleider’s shots. Once Alvarez was able to connect with his right hands, the outcome was a forgone conclusion. Alvarez was hitting Kovalev hard with his right hand, and there was little chance that he was going to be able to continue to take those shots for long.
”I want to fight more good fighters. I don’t know who my next opponent will be,” Bivol said. “We will see what will happen … I just want to fight the best fighters.”