Bivol Criticizes WBC: “It’s Not Fair; Don’t Mix Politics And Sports”

Dmitry Bivol Labels WBC's Political Agenda as Unfair

Dmitry Bivol says the WBC Russian ban is not fair
Dmitry Bivol (L), Mauricio Sulaiman | credit: Getty Images, WBC

Dmitry Bivol Feels WBC Ban On Russian Fighters Is Wrongheaded and Unfair

One of the reasons there has not been a light heavyweight unification showdown between WBA champion Dmitry Bivol (21-0, 11 KOs) and unified champion Artur Beterbiev (19-0, 19 KOs) is because of the WBC ruling that prevents Russian natives from fighting for any WBC-sanctioned title. As far as Bivol is concerned, global politics should have no role in the sport. previously reported that Beterbiev’s manager, Bob Arum, will abide by the WBC’s decision and will not seek to make a fight between the two world champions. Speaking to media outlet Seconds Out, Bivol expressed frustration towards the ruling.

“Of course, It’s not fair. How you could say that I am the champion of the world if somebody from some country couldn’t fight for your belt? It’s not fair.”


This ordeal is the byproduct of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Both world champions are Russian. However, Beterbiev moved to Canada when he turned pro and eventually became a Canadian citizen. So, he’s a Canadian national of Russian origin. Bivol was born in Kyrgyzstan but moved to Russia as a child. Russia is still his official place of residence. To many observers, the WBA champion is a victim of a simple technicality.

But Bivol contends that while his residence is in Russia, he spends more time in the United States, where he goes to prepare for fights. The WBA champion is willing to go so far as to meet with Beterbiev to see if there could be some resolution.

“If we meet each other, we will say let’s make a fight . . . I know he wants the fight, and he knows I wanted this fight.”

The WBA champion believes that there is a double standard. He thinks the WBC and others are holding him accountable for being Russian and not doing the same to Beterbiev. All Bivol wants is the opportunity to fight for undisputed status at 175. His message is simple to all parties involved:

“Don’t mix politics and sports; don’t mix it.”

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About Mike W.2014 Articles
Mike is the host of boxing podcast "Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report" and is a Senior Writer for