By John DiSanto at ringside
WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol, 14-0, 11 KOs, retained his title with a workmanlike 12-round unanimous over sturdy South African Isaac “Golden Boy” Chilemba, 25-6-2, 10 KOs, on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
Bivol, St. Petersburg, Russia, showed flashes of his lauded power early in the fight, but as the rounds progressed, he settled into a less dangerous approach to the fight. Before long he appeared to be fighting one-handed, prompting some ringsiders to wonder if the champ had injured his right hand. The right surfaced occasionally, but it was his left that accounted for most of his activity. Chilemba used a good left jab as his primary weapon, and lasted the full distance, as he had done against Sergey Kovalev two years ago. The victory, although rather ordinary, still kept Bivol on track for an eventual showdown with Kovalev. The scores for Bivol were 116-112 and 120-108 twice.