For a young fighter who has been boxing professionally since 2014, Dmitry Bivol has achieved enviable results. Bivol had a successful and long amateur career and boxed his professional career without a mistake so far. The Russian light heavyweight continues to be active and flawless, showing he has many years of success ahead of him.
So, is Dmitry Bivol the best boxer in the world? Despite his achievements, Bivol is still not the best boxer in the world yet. Looking at the boxing pound-for-pound rankings, Bivol ranks seventh in the competition of quality world boxers. Ahead of Dmitry are Tyson Fury, Canelo Alvarez, Oleksandr Usyk, Errol Spence Jr., Naoya Inoue, and Terence Crawford.
Bivol has assuredly proven that he belongs at the very top of the boxing scene. The fact that he is 32 years old works entirely in his favor. There is no doubt that in the coming years, Dmitry will make his way up the charts, and if he continues at this pace, he will be number one and crowned with multiple world titles.
Bivol’s Biography, Career, and Fighting Style
Bivol’s success did not come overnight as, with any boxer, years of obstacles and assiduous training are behind him. Dmitry had to go through many trials to get to the position he is in today, and to get where he wants to be; he will have to earn it with more blood, tears, and sweat.
Where It All Began
Dmitry Yuryevich Bivol was born on December 18, 1990, in Tokmok, Krighiz SSR, Soviet Union, which today is Kyrgyzstan. Bivol went under the tutelage of coach Nikolai Petrovich Isaev at the Palaces of Young Pioneers and Schoolchildren, where young people are focused on sports training, creative work, and extracurricular activities. In his matches, he mixed it up with the Soviet basics that he learned with his second trainer. Coach Nikolai, like any experienced coach, first noticed Dmitry’s prosperity and devoted himself to teaching the young boxer the USSR boxing style, which Bivol adapted perfectly in his own boxing game and became a master of it.
Amateur and Pro Careers
As a member of the Russian national team, Bivol became the most titled boxer in the amateur category up to 17 years old, performing in over 300 bouts. Bivol ended his amateur career with 268 wins and 15 losses. He won gold medals at the World Combat Games, the European U22 Championship, the Youth and Cadet World Championship, and the European Cadet and School Championship.
In his amateur career alone, he saw many of the world boxing in various countries where he honed his craft. All the successes mentioned above gave him a solid foundation and a wind at his back when he moved to professional competitions.
In 2014, Dmitry turned a new and more advanced page in his sports life and entered the ring as a professional for the first time. On November 28, his opponent was Jorge Rodriguez Olivera, who had 35 matches more than the young Russian. Despite this, in a match scheduled for six rounds, Bivol defeated the Uruguayan by technical knockout in less than two minutes in the last round, thus opening his professional career.
- Bivol’s streak of knockouts continued in the next five matches. Already in the fourth match, he won the WBC-USNBC Silver light-heavyweight title with a knockout against the older fighter from Mexico, Felipe Romero, after his first professional match in California, United States.
- In the fifth match, he won against Jackson Junior by technical knockout in the fourth round in Kazan, Russia, for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental light-heavyweight title.
- In 2016, Dmitry returned to Moscow and went to the referee’s decision against Felix Valero for the first time in his career. Bivol won the WBA interim light-heavyweight title by unanimous decision, which he defended seven times over the next few years.
- On October 10, 2019, Dmitry was elevated to the status of full WBA (Super) light-heavyweight champion two days before he defended the title against Gilbert Lenin Castillo by unanimous decision.
- After the fight with Canelo Alvarez, which received a separate title in our article, Bivol’s last boxing match was in Abu Dhabi on November 5, 2022, against the undefeated Mexican, with 43 wins, Gilberto Ramirez. After 12 rounds of the fight, Dmitry Bivol defends his title again by unanimous decision and hands Ramirez the first defeat in his career.
- In just seven years of competition, the Russians have fought 21 matches to his name, with 11 knockouts and ten decisions without a single defeat.
Dmitry Bivol vs. Canelo Alvarez
Bivol’s most significant victory in his career put him under the world spotlight when, on May 7., 2022, in Nevada, he got the chance to defend his title against the famous Mexican Canelo Alvarez, who is in his prime and looked untouchable. Dmitry appeared as the underdog in this match. Still, he won by unanimous decision 115-113 on all scorecards, outlanding Canelo in every round of their boxing match.
Bivol used all his attributes in the fight against the Mexican, such as size, speed, and boxing abilities. Dmitry established his master jab early, unlike Canelo, and the Mexican had no answer to it. Although he was capable of hurting Bivol in the category they fought in, he didn’t get to show his power and quickly tired.
Canelo had too little experience in the above category, especially when fighting the champion. Bivol’s range is another thing that played a crucial role against Alvarez, and he followed up his jab shots very well with hooks and body punches. The fight was a classic example of why boxing divisions were invented. Canelo came into the division where he reached his limit, looking slow and tired in the last rounds, which is different from what we are used to seeing from him.
Dmitriy Bivol uses the classic Eastern European boxing style, always bouncing with controlled footwork and perfect balance. He brought his elite amateur style to professional competition, evolved it, and adapted it extremely well. Bivol uses a very wide boxing stance that allows him to be at the edge of the range with the ability to quickly move in and out of the danger zone and deliver punches.
Dmitry uses a high guard that catches a lot of shots, and his defensive guard puts his weight on his back foot, keeping him always balanced and ready to attack. His upper body is always squared up to the opponent, which allows him to receive heavy shots, which he absorbs very well and thus tires the opponent.
Most of Bivol’s damage is done from long-range with his straight punches, including his power jab and remarkable ability to snap his jab. He puts pressure on the opponent, but he maintains his mobility brilliantly. Without any fancy combinations, Bivol uses only basic techniques with quick and short movements of the feet forward and backward and is also a master at judging distance. Throwing clean hooks while stepping back is not easy, and Bivol’s Soviet style is truly a thing of beauty.
We can safely conclude that Bivol has proven himself a supreme boxer with a lot of time ahead of him to reach perfection and win all the world championships. Dmitry is an experienced and accomplished amateur fighter with good foundations, and he quickly evolved in professional waters. He is a boxing genius with a Soviet fighting style that no one has yet managed to defeat. He is a great role model for the youth with his character and behavior, both in and out of the ring.
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