Bivol: I want to fight with the best guys

WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) met with news media at the Legendz Gym, owned and run by Roger Ruiz yesterday to discuss his upcoming mandatory title defense against #1 ranked challenger Sullivan Barrera (21-1-0, 14 KOs).

Photo: Craig Bennett-Main Events

On his debut at Madison Square Garden: “Of course I’m glad I will be fighting in America and Madison Square Garden is a famous place. I’m glad; it’s great. I’m more excited (than nervous), I think. Every fight, I feel excited.”

[On starting in boxing as a child] “To be honest with you, I don’t remember much of my life outside boxing. Everything I remember has been something to do with boxing. I’m thankful to my parents that they kept me in the sport and they’ve allowed me to be in the sport.”

[On his greatest strengths] “It’s difficult to say, but I move good. My feet, my speed – well, everything! Every fighter must think about himself only the best. Because of that, you can be better, you can be a winner. If you think about yourself, ‘I’m not good,’ negative, you will hurt yourself. Confidence, but not over confidence.”

[On fighting Sullivan Barrera] “I want to fight with the best guys. Barrera accepted our challenge. I’m glad he did.”

[On getting top opponents to fight him] “Any good fighter probably has difficulties with getting guys in the ring, fighting the right guys. But my job is to train and I believe, I really believe, that my team is going to be able to come together and make things happen. I know they can.”

[On seeing a large Russian fan base in New York] “Of course it’s a pleasure to fight on a card where there’s going to be two world champions from Russia, fighting on the same night, one fight after another. I think the fans should be very glad, the Russian fans and all the fans who like both of us, will come and see both of us fight. I hope everybody comes out. It will be an interesting night.”

[Any pressure fighting on the same card as two-time world champion Sergey Kovalev] “Every fight for me is a lot of responsibility. I have to be responsible for my fans, for my family, and to my team. That’s my main responsibility. Mostly, I’m happy to be fighting at such a legendary place as Madison Square Garden and fighting with one of the best fighters out of Russia, Sergey Kovalev. He’s considered one of the best right now. That adds a lot and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”

[On the Sergey Kovalev vs. Igor Mikhalkin fight] “Obviously, Kovalev is the favorite in the fight. But I do think people are underestimating Mikhalkin. He’s not an easy fighter. He’s not an easy opponent.”

Top Rank inks WBO #5 Genesis Servania
Nieky Holzken: I'm here to take over