Why Dmitry Bivol Cannot Afford to Overlook Craig Richards
When it comes to the elite fighters in the 168-175 pound landscape, WBA World ‘Super’ Light Heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (17-0, 11 KOs) is among the very best. Yet, he also is the least recognizable and least appreciated world champion within the lot. The 30-year-old resident of Saint Petersburg, Russia has been a world champion since 2017. Still, you have not heard any serious word of him stepping into the ring against the likes of unified IBF/WBC World Light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev or unified WBA ‘Super’/WBC world 168-pound belt holder Canelo Alvarez.
What makes matters worse is his lack of activity. Bivol has been on the shelf for the last 19-months. To make any case for a big-money fight, you must provide evidence. It first and foremost comes with displaying your talents consistently. You also have to show that you can bring serious money to the table.
Bivol finally returns to the ring on May 1 against England’s Craig Richards (16-1-1, 9 KOs) at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, live on DAZN. Ranked 5th by the WBA at 175-pounds, the challenger is not a well-known fighter outside the UK boxing scene. However, as the defending world champion told Sky Sports, he is not taking Richards lightly.
“He is fresh, he moves a lot, he has an English boxing style, he has good speed, a good jab. I didn’t see anything special, But he has enough power to knock someone out.
I respect him because he took this fight. I will prepare well for him. Every time I have an opponent, I respect him. Anything can happen.
He doesn’t have a big name at light heavyweight. This can confuse boxing fans. They think he doesn’t have a good style because he has no belt. It makes me angry! Because I know he is a good boxer even if he doesn’t have a big name.”
The Russian resident feels there is no extra pressure fighting on enemy soil. Fighting all around the world as both an amateur and professional, Bivol is comfortable fighting abroad. He is just happy to be in the ring and views the long layoff as a blessing in disguise.
“Maybe it is better that I rested for a year-and-a-half. I thought a lot about my career, about after boxing, and I am now full of energy. I am reborn.”
While Dmitry Bivol may feel refreshed, that does not take away from his long-term aspirations. He is still a world champion in search of a high-profile fight.
If he has any chance of eventually stepping into the ring against a Beterbiev or Canelo Alvarez, he cannot afford any slip-ups against Richards; it is a must-win fight.
By: Michael Wilson Jr.