Unbeaten Kyrgyzstan born Russian based Light Heavyweight sensation Dmitry Bivol (9-0, 7) extended his winning run earlier today and recorded his first defense of the WBA "interim" Light Heavyweight title as he secured a 4th round TKO win over the out gunned Robert Berridge (29-6-1, 21).
Bivol, who won the title last year when he took a wide decision win over Felix Valera, dominated Berridge from the off with his sharp offensive work. The defense of Bivol was flawed, with Berridge tagging Bivol clean a few times, but at no point did Bivol look under any real pressure before starting to break down Berridge who was down twice in round 3. It seemed that Bivol upped the ante after being tagged and from then on Berridge always looked like time was running out on his title challenge.
In round 4 Bivol's assault continued, dropping Berridge for the third time in the bout and cutting him badly over the right eye. That cut forced the doctors to stop Berridge, in what was somewhat of a relief for the New Zealander, who appeared to be on the verge of being badly beaten up.
For Bivol the bout showed some flaws, and it's clear there is work to do before he takes on the elite Light Heavyweights, however for a fighter with just 9 fights he looks a sensational talent with an incredible ceiling. Sadly for Berridge the result was a case of the butcher being butchered by a fighter several levels above him.
Earlier it was announced that Kyrgyzstan born Russian based Dmitry Bivol (8-0, 6) will return to the ring on February 23rd in Perm, Russia, to defend his WBA "interim" Light Heavyweight title against New Zealand veteran Robert Berridge (29-5-1, 21), who will be seeking a 3rd straight win following a series of setbacks in 2015 and 2016.
Bivol, who won the title last year when he dominated Dominican puncher Felix Valera, is regarded by those who have seen him as one of the most promising young talents in the sport. Unlike many youngsters he hasn't been protected so far. He debuted back in November 2014, against Jorge Rodriguez Olivera, and was matched against the likes of Konstantin Piternov and Joey Vegas in those early bouts. In August 2015 he claimed his first title, the USNBC silver title, before adding the WBA Inter-Continental title just a few months later before adding the WBA interim title in May 2016.
Since winning the interim title Bivol has fought just once, beating beating the tough Yevgeni Makhteienko in a 10 round shut out.
Berridge isn't a great fighter, but he typically makes for exciting contests and has mixed with a string of notable names. That has seen him suffer losses to the likes of Blake Caparello, Vasily Lepikhin, Thomas Oosthuizen and Eleider Alvarez. His style should make for a fun fight with Bivol, but Bivol's heavy hands and consistent offense should be too much for the Kiwi who will likely serve as the perfect foil for the 26 year old.
One of the most exciting emerging fighters in the sport today is Kyrgyzstan born Light Heavyweight Dmitry Bivol (7-0, 6), who claimed the WBA "interim" Light Heavyweight title earlier this year. Despite having claimed that title back in May we've not seen much of the talented 25 year old. Thankfully though now know he will return to the ring on October 29th in a 10 round non-title bout, his first since winning his "world" title.
Bivol's opponent will be Tanzania's heavy handed Abdallah Paziwapazi (13-3, 12), who has claimed two lower tier titles in his last two bouts, who has looked like a danger man though only against lesser foes.
A;though this is a non-title bout for Bivol the odds are that he will be chasing a big bout in 2017 either defending his "interim" belt of progressing on to a regular title fight, possibly against Welshman Nathan Cleverly.
In a supporting bout Filipino Rey Laspinas (21-13-6, 12) will be up against Nikita Kuznetsov (5-0, 3) whilst another supporting bout will see Heavyweight hopeful Sergey Kuzmin (7-0, 4) battle the experienced Mike Sheppard (24-19-2, 10)
The card will take place at the Arena, in Ekaterinburg.
In places like Thailand, Japan and Korea we have seen the top fighters get fast tracked to the top. It's often seemed like the top prospect don't want to waste their time racking up wins and a pretty record and would instead prefer a fight of note, a chance to make a name for themselves and a chance at title glory early on. It seems that may also be the case in Kyrgyzstan with the recent announcement that Russian based Kyrgyzstani fighter Dmitry Bivol (6-0, 6) [Дмитрий Юрьевич Бивол] would be fighting for the WBA interim Light Heavyweight title on May 21st.
The talented Bivol, widely regarded as one of the best prospects in boxing, will be up against the tricky and unbeaten Felix Valera (13-0, 12), from the Dominican Republic. With the bout acting as Valera's first defense of the title.
The Dominican won the belt last year, when he claimed a split decision upset win over Stanislav Kashtanov. That was Varela's first bout outside of his homeland and, like the bout with Bivol, saw "Mangu" travel to Russia. That win did see Varela impress with some slick skills, impressive handspeed and goiove movement, though he did show some flaws and didn't appear to be the big puncher that his record suggests.
For Bivol the bout seems like a chance to get himself into the title mix, and do so in amazingly quick fashion given that he only turned professional in late 2014. If he wins he would be in the running to face the likes of Juergen Breahmer and Sergey Kovalev and it's fair to say that given his teams belief in him those bouts are real possibilities before the end of 2016.
For fans interested in this one it's going to be one of the main support bouts for the WBC Heavyweight title clash between Deontay Wilder and Alexander Povetkin, so make sure you tune into the card from Moscow.
We appear to be really lucky right now with a wave of young fighters all rising through the rankings quickly and effectively. One of those men was in action on Wednesday and really impressed with a performance that suggested he was a sure-fire future world champion.
That man was Kyrgyzstan born Russian based Dmitry Bivol (5-0, 5) a Light Heavyweight who appears to on the fast track to the top.
Bivol, who only turned professional a year ago, was stepping up up class to face Brazilian puncher Jackson Junior (19-5, 17) in what was supposed to be a test of the unbeaten man's toughness. Instead of being a test it turned out to be a show case for Bivol who looked brilliant from start to end before finishing off the over-matched Junior in the 4th round of the scheduled 10 rounder.
With the win Bivol claimed the WBA Inter-Continental Light Heavyweight title, and is likely to find himself in the next set of WBA rankings. Whilst a world title fight would be too soon it's clear to see that he is on the fast track to the top and that we could be just a year or so away from see Bivol facing world class opposition.
For those who missed the fight we've included the video below.
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