WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) met with news media at the Legendz Gym, owned and run by Roger Ruiz yesterday to discuss his upcoming mandatory title defense against #1 ranked challenger Sullivan Barrera (21-1-0, 14 KOs).
Dmitry Bivol – WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion:
On his debut at Madison Square Garden: “Of course I’m glad I will be fighting in America and Madison Square Garden is a famous place. I’m glad; it’s great. I’m more excited (than nervous), I think. Every fight, I feel excited.”
On starting in boxing as a child: “To be honest with you, I don’t remember much of my life outside boxing. Everything I remember has been something to do with boxing. I’m thankful to my parents that they kept me in the sport and they’ve allowed me to be in the sport.”
On his greatest strengths: “It’s difficult to say, but I move good. My feet, my speed – well, everything! Every fighter must think about himself only the best. Because of that, you can be better, you can be a winner. If you think about yourself, ‘I’m not good,’ negative, you will hurt yourself. Confidence, but not over confidence.”
On fighting Sullivan Barrera: “I want to fight with the best guys. Barrera accepted our challenge. I’m glad he did.”
On getting top opponents to fight him: “Any good fighter probably has difficulties with getting guys in the ring, fighting the right guys. But my job is to train and I believe, I really believe, that my team is going to be able to come together and make things happen. I know they can.”
On seeing a large Russian fan base in New York: “Of course it’s a pleasure to fight on a card where there’s going to be two world champions from Russia, fighting on the same night, one fight after another. I think the fans should be very glad, the Russian fans and all the fans who like both of us, will come and see both of us fight. I hope everybody comes out. It will be an interesting night.”
Any pressure fighting on the same card as two-time world champion Sergey Kovalev: “Every fight for me is a lot of responsibility. I have to be responsible for my fans, for my family, and to my team. That’s my main responsibility. Mostly, I’m happy to be fighting at such a legendary place as Madison Square Garden and fighting with one of the best fighters out of Russia, Sergey Kovalev. He’s considered one of the best right now. That adds a lot and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
On the Sergey Kovalev vs. Igor Mikhalkin fight: “Obviously, Kovalev is the favorite in the fight. But I do think people are underestimating Mikhalkin. He’s not an easy fighter. He’s not an easy opponent.”
About March 3: The Saturday, March 3 main event between Sergey “Krusher” Kovalev and Igor Mikhalkin is a 12-round match-up for the WBO Light Heavyweight World Title at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The co-main event features WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol versus Sullivan Barrera in a 12-round title fight. Tickets range from $50 to $300 and are available online at TicketMaster.com and at the Madison Square Garden box office. The event is promoted by Main Events, Krusher Promotions and World of Boxing in association with EC Box Promotions, is sponsored by Medoff Vodka and Leon.ru and will be televised live on HBO World Championship Boxing® beginning at 10:05 p.m. ET/PT.