No one really expected “Dmitry Bivol:12 Rounds” in any way, shape, form or fashion to become a trend in 2018.
But styles not only make fights– they go out of style; and depending on your pallet, the fight connoisseur of refined sommelier taste had no problem raising a wine glass of approval at the WBA light heavyweight champion. It's just that most casual and hardcore fans of the sweet science are more like a guy at the bar with an order of wings and a beer mug laced in sauce.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. In the case of Dmitry Yuryevich Bivol (15-0, 11KOs), born in Soviet Kyrgyzstan to a Moldovan father and an ethnic Korean mother, he's either ready to punch out rather than face another would-be cruiserweight; or, a nearly 28 year-old ripe apple still searching for the bow of a Sergey Kovalev. There will be no more stars to shine on HBO Boxing After Dark.
Sunday, November 25, 1:53 a.m.
A winter rain is falling outside of Courtyard Marriott's 14th floor window overlooking Atlantic City, with the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino reflecting on the glass. It’s a good time to reflect, as random thoughts race on the night and there's a lot to take in. Earlier inside Etess Arena, Bivol has thoroughly outsparred a gritty former sparring partner in Jean Pascal over 12 easy rounds more difficult than they look. It’s the same way he became champion over Felix Valera over two years ago. His stock having dropped by at least 7lbs, Bivol essentially tells the media during the post fight presser that he's really a big super middleweight, while looking and sounding like someone who's delivered and still waiting on a promise. That he implies all of these things, with darting eyes fixed on Main Events CEO Kathy Duva is difficult to miss; making his camp's angry disappointment watching Sergey Kovalev get KTFO by Eleider Alvarez in “2 Days: Dmitry Bivol” ….
…even more interesting. He seems to need fame with a real want for glory. Joe Smith would've been just fine. He's “a name” everyone remembers for beating a Bernard Hopkins from the Cretaceous period. Andre Ward retires and a fight with Badou Jack long fell apart, so it’s no surprise when his eyes light up like a Christmas tree over a dream match-up with Canelo Alvarez, if only somehow.
Duva, undaunted and unfazed, seems in modes cruise and control on the podium. She makes a point of congratulating a victorious super lightweight veteran Karl Dargan, spouse of “Love and Hip Hop New York” star Lil Mo‘, with a wink. Earlier during the card, I spot Duva and daughter Nicole (COO of Main Events) standing and watching with keen interest as Israil Madrimov steps into the ring and doesn't disappoint at all. In fact, he scouts as a raw potential amalgam of Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. Later, Murodjon “MJ” Akhmadaliev, flashes elements of a pint sized Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez. These aren't typos. Both are seated alongside her on the podium as I look back over at Bivol– with “ingrate” ingratiated in my thoughts. What is World of Boxing (Bivol's true promotional affiliate) without its association to the New Jersey based promotional giant over generations? In 2018, his exposure on HBO is directly linked to its long standing relationship with the “Network of Champions” and where they both go in the future (DAZN anyone?). Would a merger involving Main Events and World of Boxing make sense for all parties involved?
There's a lot of dream fights to be made and sometimes they take more than 12 rounds to make.