Dmitry Bivol Breezes By Umar Salamov; Seeking Unification Next!

Dmitry Bivol Wants To Unify Next

Dmitry Bivol looks to fight Artur Beterbiev or Joe Smith Jr.
(clockwise from left) Dmitry Bivol, Artur Beterbiev, Joe Smith Jr.

Dmitry Bivol Outclasses Umar Salamov in a One-Sided Contest


It was a homecoming for WBA ‘super’ world light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (19-0, 11 KOs)  when he faced countryman, WBA tenth and WBO third-ranked contender Umar Salamov (26-2, 19 KOs) at the KRK Uralets Arena in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

Bivol initially won the WBA ‘interim’ title in May of 2016. He was named ‘regular’ champion in 2017 before being elevated to ‘super’ champion in October of 2019. A resident of Saint Petersburg, Russia, the defending champ has built a solid resume over the years. He’s defeated respected fighters like Sullivan Barrera, former 175-pound world champ Jean Pascal and current WBO light heavyweight champion Joe Smith Jr. His goal now is to put himself in a position for a big fight in 2022.

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But first came Salamov, a technically sound fighter with solid skills. He was scheduled to fight Smith Jr in October for the WBO belt. However, it was postponed after Smith tested positive for COVID-19. His last outing was a lackluster ten-round win over Sergei Ekimov in April 2021, his only fight since September 2019. The match with Bivol is quite a consolation for the 27-year-old from Grozny, Russia.

IN CHARGE FROM OPENING BELL

Bivol is not a seek-and-destroy kind of fighter but rather a skilled technician. The defending champion is a beautiful fighter to watch when on his A-Game. He used his jab and terrific footwork to create openings for combinations in the early rounds. 

At 6’3”, the taller challenger tried to use his jab to setup his right hand. But, he was slow and lacking in head movement. Bivol blocked, parried, and countered with his shots in return. 

The dominance continued in the middle rounds. Salamov landed a nice right hand in the seventh. But, that seemed to piss Bivol off as he punished his opponent for the rest of that round. While Salamov kept plugging away, he was getting battered by someone better at all facets of the game.

If there was one minor criticism of Bivol, it’s his lack of true aggression. He seemed to take his foot off the gas in the late rounds, content to know the fight was well in hand. It would’ve been nice to see him push the pace and try to force a stoppage. In the end, this was a whitewash as judges scored it in Bivol’s favor by unanimous decision (119-109, 118-109, 118-110). Afterward, the winner expressed a strong desire for a unification fight.

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By: Michael Wilson Jr.

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About Mike W.2017 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for 3kingsboxing.com.