Dmitriy Bivol is in that new class of guys with ample amateur experience who believe they have quickly acclimated to the pro scene, and thus, don’t need as lengthy an apprenticeship as is typical on the route to bigger name and fame bouts.
The Russian born hitter, just 11-0 now, debuted in 2014 against a 25-10 guy. Imressive; yep, like a Vasyl Lomachenko, who knew that after 400 amateur fights, he’d pretty much seen most of what there was to see in a ring. Of course, Orlando Salido begged to differ.
Back to Bivol, with 300 amateur bouts under his belt ; the light heavyweight gloves up Saturday, in Monte Carlo, and on the big stage of television, on HBO. He meets 20-1 Trent Broadhurst, an Aussie who is taking a step or maybe two up in competition from anyone he’s tangoed with before.
If you haven’t seen Bivol (born in Krygrzstan, lives in Russia) he’s a righty who who bangs hard and took out crafty survivors, in Cedric Agnew (in June) and Samuel Clarkson (in April) prior to this step up in platform.
Clarkson saw that Bivol, promoted in the US by Main Events, has a nasty right, and that his hands are heavy, but pretty quick, too. He is there not accumulate points, but do damage. Bivol is persistent, not overly patient as with some of these take awhile to get oiled up eastern Euros. He wants to take advantage if a foe came to the ring sold. Bivol is smart with placement, working the body to get the hands to drop so the head is there. Against Clarkson, the ShoBox crew was impressed. Clarkson did well to survive after a hairy first round, and he was all done by the fourth. Bivol sagely took it back a notch, slowed down, got more methodical. He looked for that sweet spot opening, preyed upon Clarkson, backed him up, broke him down. The Russian stayed smart defensively, so as not to get surprised by the lefty. He pumped a range finder jab, kept hands high and then finished off the lefty with a power right.
Next time, against Agnew, the WBA light heavyweight champion Bivol, who is now training in CA, again started fast. The jab was no measuring stick, it was a hard knock at the door. He double jabbed, backed up Agnew, looked to pierce his high guard down the middle with power rights. His movement is just fine, he can scuttle to safety when he sees an onslaught being readied. Down went Agnew in the first, off a a flurry of about eight clean tosses, after a sweeping right mildly buzzed Agnew. Bivol owns a sneaky quick hook which can do damage, and in round four, Agnew was in survival mode. But no; a sweeping right on a bleeding Agnew made the loser wince, paw his eye, and signal surrender.
You maybe get a sense of some of where the Bivol style comes from when he says, “My favorite boxer is Sugar Ray Leonard. He's great. Of course, Muhammed Ali is biggest star. He is very famous. I love to watch fights with Sugar Ray Leonard before my fights. I learn from his fights. I also like to watch Gennady Golovkin, Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford and Manny Pacquaio, but my favorite is Sugar Ray Leonard.”
You also get a sense of his dedication to craft when he says, “I want the fans to know that, since I was a child, boxing is my life. I want the fans to know I am always trying to do my best. I am doing my best in the ring. I don't like to speak bad about my opponents; I just want my fans to like my boxing style and appreciate my work. I am trying to do everything for the fans.”
At 29, Broadhurst is faced with a stiff test. Right crosses that buzzed guys on the way up maybe won’t phase Bivol. He was able to impose his height and aggression edge till now, but probably not to the same extent on Saturday. An upright stance means Biviol will look to try and work his body, and then head hunt.
Bivol vs. Broadhurst is a 12-round bout for the WBO Light Heavyweight Title at Casino de Monte Carlo in Salle Medecin, Monte Carlo and televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark® on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 5:45 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT), coupled with a primetime evening replay at 9:45 p.m. (ET/PT).