Dmitry Bivol, WBA light-heavyweight titleholder, shares a dialogue with Radio Rahim of Seconds Out, touching upon potential match-ups with Canelo and Artur Beterbiev, and his thoughts on the controversial WBC directive preventing Russian fighters from contending for its titles.
Humility in Victory
“People look at me from different angles, but I try to be the same, you know. Because the person who was before [the Canelo fight]… that person made me, and I have to be the same guy,” Bivol said, reflecting on the changes in his career since his victory over Canelo.
His win certainly shifted the dynamics of his career. His boxing prowess commanded attention, granting him more accessible and lucrative fights. Still, Bivol’s hunger for glory does not stop at popularity or money. “I need my legacy… if you fight for the belts, get some belts, the money will come,” Bivol explained, expressing a perspective not often heard from modern boxers.
The Chase for the Belts
Bivol’s vision is clear; he wants the fight for belts, not the paychecks. The titles he is specifically eyeing reside in two weight classes – Canelo’s at 168 and the undisputed title at 175. “I need to fight for the belts. I want to fight for titles in 175 or 168, and then we will see… maybe I will move up,” Bivol shared, demonstrating a healthy, ambitious hunger for boxing greatness.
But in his quest for the belts and titles, Bivol confronts an interesting roadblock—politics. Specifically, the global politics that permeates boxing decisions, denying him and other Russian fighters the opportunity to fight for world titles due to the actions of their government. Bivol vehemently criticizes such practices, stating, “it’s not fair. Don’t mix politics and sport.”
Despite the hurdles in his path, Bivol remains optimistic, with a belief that better opportunities are on the horizon. “There’s a lot of interest from the Middle East, from Abu Dhabi, and from Saudi, and they’re interested in this type of fight happening,” he said, hinting at potential support for his ambitions from abroad.
When asked about Canelo’s refusal to fight him at 175 without the belts on the line, Bivol perceived it not as disrespect but as an excuse from Canelo to avoid the fight. He believes Canelo is trying to negotiate himself out of the rematch, stating, “It’s some way for him to say that he didn’t agree to this fight.”
The Fighter’s Perspective
Bivol’s priority is not just to fight, but to be active. He understands the business of boxing and the complexity of arranging fights. In the event his dream matches do not materialize, he is ready to take on the best available contenders while waiting for his chance. “It could be a fight which could help me to be active… It’s just a fight for waiting for my chance,” he elaborates.
For Bivol, it is about more than just money—it is about building a legacy, about passion for the sport and about retaining his authentic self. As he stated in his interview, “I’m an athlete.” This singular focus on boxing and legacy keeps him grounded and striving for greatness.