Dmitry Bivol defends light heavyweight belt against Lenin Castillo on Usyk-Spong card
WBA light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol finally has an opponent for his clash on Oct. 12.
The unbeaten Bivol will square off against Lenin Castillo of the Dominican Republic, Matchroom Boxing announced Thursday. The 12-round bout will take place at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago.
DAZN will stream the fight live (9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT), along with the main event bout between Oleksandr Usyk and Tyrone Spong.
Bivol (16-0, 11 knockouts), who is originally from Kyrgyzstan and resides in Saint Petersburg, Russia, last defended his WBA title on Mar. 9, defeating Joe Smith by unanimous decision. His last three wins have come by decision.
The 28-year-old, who is ranked No. 3 by The Ring at 175 pounds, has mentioned a strong interest in unifying the division in 2020, but first must get past Castillo on Oct. 12.
“I am happy that the fight is done and the opponent is confirmed for Oct. 12,” said Bivol, who is managed by Vadim Kornilov. “Castillo is a good opponent. He fought Marcus Browne before (and) it was a good fight. I can’t wait and hopes that we can make a very exciting performance for the fans.
Bivol is co-promoted by World of Boxing and Main Events.
Castillo (20-2-1, 15 KOs) has won his last two bouts since losing by decision to Browne on Aug. 4 of last year. In his last bout on Mar. 16, the 31-year-old stopped Reinaldo Gonzalez after the fifth round in his hometown of Santo Domingo.
He is currently not ranked in the top-15 by the WBA, earning only a No. 12 ranking by the WBO. Castillo may be the underdog, but he is confident in pulling off the huge upset.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Castillo, who is managed by Raul Pastrana. “I consider Dmitry Bivol in the top-20 on the pound-for-pound list, but I know that I have the tools to upset him. I’ve been training very hard. On Oct. 12, you will see the best version of Lenin Castillo. I will take the title to the Dominican Republic.”
Also on the card, Jessica McCaskill (7-2, 3 KOs) of Chicago will defend her WBC and WBA world junior welterweight titles against Erica Farias (26-3, 10 KOs) of Argentina in a 10-round bout. Both squared off on Oct. 6, when McCaskill defeated Farias by unanimous decision.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for RingTV since October of 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper, Boxingscene, and FightNights.com. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing