Fast-rising Dmitry Bivol aims to impress in Showtime debut
Light heavyweight up-and-comer Dmitry Bivol will meet Samuel Clarkson in the headlining bout of a “ShoBox: The New Generation” event on Friday at the MGM National Harbor in Oxon Hill, Maryland, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Bivol (9-0, 7 knockouts) is eager to showcase his skills on American TV for the first time.
“First of all, I’m glad that I will be defending my title (the WBA’s Interim belt) in the American ring and this fight will be shown on American TV,” Bivol told RingTV.com through his manager, Vadim Kornilov. “I think that Clarkson is also glad that he will fight at home, and especially for the title. These facts should affect the quality of the fight for the better.”
The 26-year-old Kyrgyzstan-born Russian resident, who was the subject of a New Faces feature in February 2016, has moved quickly since debuting in late 2014 and will be fighting in the United States for the third time.
Bivol respects his opponent’s ability but feels his amateur pedigree, among other things, will help him safely navigate his way past Clarkson (19-3, 12 KOs).
“He is taller then me. He has a good punch. I think he has a lot of motivation also,” Bivol said of his opponent. “When he hits, he does not let his opponent go and tries to finish them off if he catches them. As a boxer I have good qualities, such as mobility, also strong punch and good experience in 283 fights in the amateurs.”
Bivol, who lives in St. Petersburg, arrived in Los Angeles six weeks ago to set up camp between the Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood and the Wild Card West Boxing gym in Santa Monica. This marks a quick turnaround of less than two months since he impressively bludgeoned the usually durable Robert Berridge in four rounds in Russia.
“We were already working on a U.S. fight for Dmitry even before the Berridge fight was made,” explained Kornilov. “The opportunity came around and Showtime came up with the date of April 14th. Our partners, Greg Cohen Promotions and Banner Promotions, put together the show and I wanted to make sure that Bivol did not miss this opportunity.”
“Berridge was a great experience for me and he is one of the better and more reknowned opponents in my professional career,” Bivol stated. “That’s why I had a good two-stage training camp. First stage was physical conditioning in the mountains and second stage is boxing training back in St. Petersburg, and I was ready to fight for all 12 rounds if the fight went the distance. As it turned out, during the fight I found mistakes in his defense. I used the opportunities I had and I finished the fight in the fourth round.”
Although Kornilov isn’t looking past Clarkson, one of his many jobs as manager is to project into the future. He’s more than happy to let Bivol off the leash against one of the bigger names later this year.
“Current ‘Regular’ WBA champion is Nathan Cleverly and ‘Super’ champion is Andre Ward,” said Kornilov. “We are interested in both of those fights and are working together with the WBA on future fights for world title. Right now we are focused on Bivol’s U.S. TV debut, which to me is just as important as any world championship fight and I want to make sure Dmitriy shows his skills and charisma in the right for all the fans to see on April 14th on Showtime.”
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