Barrera: After Ward, Bivol my toughest challenge

Top light heavyweight contender Sullivan Barrera is working hard in the second half of his training camp for his March 3rd HBO televised clash against WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden. The 35-year-old former Cuban amateur standout has been on a run. After losing a unanimous decision to the now-retired Andre Ward, Barrera has put together a four-fight win streak against the likes of Vyacheslav Shabranskyy, Paul Parker, Joe Smith Jr. and Felix Valera.

“Bivol is a great fighter. He will be the second best fighter I have faced and second only to Andre Ward,” said Barrera. “He has a great amateur pedigree and has been knocking out the majority of his opponents. I know I need to bring my ‘A’ game to beat him.”

Bivol has stopped his previous four opponents and only 2 of his 12 victims have made it to the final bell. Barrera has a lot of respect for his opponent and believes his power is legitimate.

“He has knocked guys out with one punch. I know I have to be careful in there. He is a very confident fighter. He knows he has power and knows how to get in position to use it. That is why I am taking him very seriously,” Barrera explained.

Barrera knows that a victory over Bivol will open a lot of doors as fights against champions like Sergey Kovalev, the Adonis Stevenson-Badou Jack winner and Artur Beterbiev could be available to him but the Cuban refuses to look ahead.

“March 3rd is all that matters. God willing I get the win and then we can talk about future plans but right now I am focused on Bivol. I know I have to concentrate on him and give him all of my attention,” said Barrera.

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