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.
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