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Bivol retains WBA light heavyweight title

Bivolwins
Photo: Mark Robinson Matchroom Boxing

Undefeated WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol (18-0, 11 KOs) successfully defended his title by twelve round unanimous decision against Craig Richards (16-2-1, 9 KOs) on Saturday night at the AO Arena in Manchester, England. It was a tactical affair with Bivol prevailing 118-110, 115-113, 115-114.

“I’m not happy but I’m okay,” Bivol told Matchroom. “It was a long rest for me and I went into the ring after one and a half years. It’s fine. My opponent was a good fighter, really good. He’s smart and he thinks. He was thinking for the whole fight.

“It’s okay. I was feeling that I’d won. I gave him a couple of rounds for recovery. I landed more clean punches. I respect him and I respected him before the fight. I think he can make problems for all fighters because of his style.

“He moved a lot. Fighters who move a lot and have good speed are really hard. He is a good fighter, but I have more weapons in my arsenal. I’m glad I have had another defense. Of course, I want unification fights. I still want them. I haven’t had a chance to fight for another belt, this is why I defend my belt.

“I’d like to fight for another belt, it would be a good challenge for me. I believe I can become the undisputed world champion one day, this is why I train, that’s why I have a good team. I believe one day I will be if I train hard. Thanks to everyone who supports me and watched this fight.”

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  • Bivol dominated the fight.
    118–110 scorcard was correct.
    The other two were way too close.

  • Not sure about those 2 close scorecards. Richards acquitted himself well but won maybe 2 rounds, 3 max.

  • Not a convincing win for Bivol. In fact, I’m not surprised, but I thought perhaps someone more competitive than Richards would rise the question marks around Bivol.

    I would be concerned if I was in Bivols team. There are many technical boxers in the light heavy weight division that can take advantage of his predictability and that he is actually lacking of boxing skills. I like his jab though.

    When you see a fight like this it’s clearer why Gilberto Ramirez been talking about Bivol. He’s been identified as someone to beat. He better hurry up to sign a contract if he wants a title because I can see Bivol getting in troubles with many.

    And, it got me almost mad to see how Joe Smith Jr actually climbed up as No.2 by Boxrec after his fight against Vlasov. He was controlled and at times even schooled by Vlasov and still got a MD. Now Joe Smith Jr is suddenly ranked BEFORE Bivol, Beterbiev, Vlasov, Hart, Ramirez and so on. No no no. Joe Smith Jr is a good guy but he should not be up there in the ranking.

    • Well Smith was actually dropped down to number 3. But that they have still Kovalev at one is really a mystery. And they have Berbetepv at number 4. Go figure.

      • I just checked it. Joe Smith Jr is suddenly ranked as No 1! Followed by Beterbiev, Hart, Bivol, Vlasov, Pascal. Kovalev is no longer in the ranking.

    • You really know very little about boxing by that asinine post. Bivol is an excellent boxer who just happened to be in there against a technically good fighter who’s bigger than he is, and did it after a year and a half layoff. Bivol had a lot of rust but still won the fight convincingly. If you think the protected Ramirez is even as good of a boxer as this Russian then you definitely DKSAB. The only fighter at 175 that threatens Bivol is Beterbiev. Bivol beats clumsy Zurdo up if that fight happens. I also have the Russian over anybody at 168 including Canelo.

      • For some reason I don’t know Zurdo has been matched rather carefully. Still he has 41 victories and no losses or no draws. He schooled Arthur Abraham, he had two hard fights and wins against Hart, currently ranked as No.3 by Boxrec, and he has a rather clear win over Vlasov, who currently schooled No.1 Joe Smith Jr.

        Zurdo is even taller and bigger than Richards to start with, and to reject Zurdo with that he is clumsy doesn’t add to the discussion. Maybe Bivol and his team already considers Zurdo as next or soon opponent? Then Richards gave them lots of experience to build on.

        In my opinion with right matching Zurdo should already be top 3, so I hope his team give him truly competitive fights, and remember he has already beaten two out of five top 5 boxers in today ranking.

        Zurdo is definitely a force to reckon and I think he will give Bivol a really difficult and tough time if they soon face each other.

  • Hmmm…
    So the 2 “monsters” that Canelo is running scared from are Beterbiev and Bivol…?
    They just went a collective 24 rounds with 2 strangers… I won’t say tomato cans, but definitely off any boxing radar.
    Alas, we will brush these 2 “defenses” under the rug and keep demanding Canelo fight Beterbiev, Bivol, Fury, Wilder, and both the Paul brothers… On the same night to satisfy the nay sayers…..lol

      • Kp, I would agree with you, but any post dealing with Canelo immediately draws out the haters…. You know, the ones making demands on him and his career…. So he can prove to “them” that he is legit….
        Now Bivol has a long night against a pedestrian… Similar to Beterbiev’s last fight and the Canelo haters are suddenly quiet and reserved…

        • Everyone made demands of GGG, a small middleweight fighting a heavyweight size Andre Ward.

      • How about Beterbiev vs Bivol. Only haters call it boring. Because they know Beterbiev will be exposed.

    • Beterbiev scored a ko so leave him out of it. And it’s boxing. Nobody is going to have a pretty fight or easy fight Everytime they step in the ring.

    • Nowhere in this article was anything mentioned about Canelo Alvarez.
      In fact, nobody had said a word about him in the comments section up until your comment.
      Get a grip.

    • Nowhere in this article was Alvarez’s name mentioned and up until you posted there was no mention of him in the comments section either.
      Get a grip.

      • James…
        That was exactly my point.
        You’ll see later in the week when Canelo’s stories come out as prefight info, there’s gonna be a bunch of morons stating that he’s not a “true champ” until he fights either Beterbiev and/or Bivol….
        Mark my words.
        So, with that in mind, go ahead and grip yourself… lol

  • Bivol didnt look too dominant but again he needs to fight Beterbiev and both need to stop challenging the smaller Canelo SMH

    • I watched the fight again with no sound on and gave Richards one round.
      Bivol is never going to be the type of guy to look dominant even when he outclasses opponents just for the fact that he is a counterpuncher by nature and doesn’t have too much of a killer instinct.
      Given that Richards was also a counterpuncher by nature, this was a fight decided by footwork, feignts and tactics rather than pure force.

  • How hard are you avoided when you have to contimplate moving down to get a real fight. Beterbiev won’t fight him. And both are fighting clowns. Meanwhile the Canelo haters are calling him out vs these champs. Beterbiev loses to Bivol.

  • Well Bijou says the reason why he barely won and it’s because the other fighter has a good difficult style. Every fighter runs into this situation.

  • Bivol won granted. But at 32 : 1 odds Richards was a live underdog and would have had me nervous had I bet on Bivol thinking he’d KO him inside of three rounds. * Don’t wager on boxing

  • Those scorecards! Richards maybe won two rounds. Once upon a time Italy was the worst place for home town judging. Then Germany took over for a while. Now it’s England.

  • For Craig Richards to preform that well against a known World Champion shows that he has a real future.

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