Dmitry Bivol ‘excited’ by Lenin Castillo challenge, targets Canelo-Kovalev winner
Talented boxer-puncher Dmitry Bivol will make the sixth defense of his WBA light heavyweight title against Lenin Castillo in the co-feature to the heavyweight debut of former undisputed cruiserweight champion Aleksandr Usyk, who faces Tyrone Spong at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Saturday.
Bivol, who is rated No. 3 by The Ring at 175 pounds, is eager to lay down a marker in the white-hot division.
“I’m looking forward to another important step in my career,” Bivol (16-0, 11 knockouts) told The Ring through his manager Vadim Kornilov. “I am very well prepared as always. I hope to see everybody in Chicago, I have never fought there before and I’m very excited.
“(Castillo) has some amateur background; [he fought] in the  Olympics. He has fought Marcus Browne and gave him a good fight. I am always excited by a challenge.”
In his last three fights, against the experienced trio of Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal and Joe Smith Jr., the 28-year-old Bivol has been taken the 12-round distance. However, the unbeaten Russian star has no concerns about being unable to secure a knockout.
“I come to do my job and make sure that I win my fight,” Bivol explained. “I will do my best to make this as exciting a fight as I can but, at the same time, get the victory.
“I don’t only think about the knockdown. I always think that every opponent brings a risk and wants to take what I have; my world title. It’s my job and the job of my team to win the fight.”
Bivol will have his eyes on the upcoming light heavyweight unification bout between Artur Beterbiev (IBF) and Oleksandr Gvozdyk (WBC) on Oct. 18, as well as the Canelo Alvarez-Sergey Kovalev superfight on Nov. 2.
“Beterbiev and Gvozdyk is a very interesting fight,” Bivol acknowledged “Both are great, and I’m very interested to see who will win.
“I am happy for Kovalev. I will be there for this fight. I hope that I can fight the winner next. It will all depend on Kovalev and how prepared he is. Canelo is also a great fighter, but both guys have a good chance to win this fight.
“I have my own road I need to take. I am only 16-0 as a pro. I know that my opportunity is ahead.”
Kornilov also believes his fighter will get the chance to mix it up with the other big names in his division in the future.
“Bivol is working with World of Boxing, Matchroom and Main Events are also involved,” said the manager. “All the promoters want what is best for Dmitry. Wherever the biggest opportunity comes, they are willing to go in that direction. And we know Dmitry wants the biggest fights.”
Castillo (20-2-1, 15 KOs) turned professional in 2010. The Dominican Republic-born fighter won his first 12 fights before drawing with fellow prospect Travis Peterkin in 2015. He lost for the first time against Joseph Williams and dropped a decision to Marcus Browne after scoring a knockdown. Castillo has posted two victories since the Browne setback.