LAS VEGAS: When WBA Light Heavyweight Interim Champion Dmitry Bivol (10-0, 8 KOs) faces Cedric “L.O.W.” Agnew (29-2, 15 KOs) in a ten-round battle on Saturday, June 17 on the televised undercard of Ward vs. Kovalev 2: “The Rematch,” it may be the first time many fans watching on television or live at the Mandalay Bay Events Center catch a glimpse of the up-and-coming light heavyweight prospect from Kyrgyzstan.
Bivol is originally from Tokmak, Kyrgyzstan and now resides in Saint Petersburg, Russia. In his short two and a half-year pro career, he has quickly made a name for himself in the light heavyweight division. In his first ten fights, he amassed eight knockouts for an 80% knockout-to-win ratio. In only his seventh professional bout, he secured the WBA Light Heavyweight Interim Title when he knocked down Felix Valera twice on his way to a unanimous decision victory. Since then, he is 3-0 with two knockouts over Robert Berridge and Samuel Clarkson, despite only being 26 years old.
Despite his impressive and lightning-fast rise through the light heavyweight rankings, Bivol stays grounded in his approach to his next fight against Agnew. He said, “I look at my fights a bit differently; I don’t assume that one is more important than the other. A boxing career is like a staircase and when you successful with each win, you move up the staircase and this fight, of course, is another step up the staircase for me.”
He isn’t letting the added pressure of an international pay per view telecast affect his concentration and drive. “In reality, when you are inside the ring, mentally there is no difference whether you are at home or in the US or somewhere else,” said Bivol. “You have your opponent in front of you and that’s all I think about. I enjoy fighting in the US because the fans are very supportive and they will support the fighter they like, no matter what country or nationality he is. It’s all about being fan-friendly; anybody can create a big fan base for themselves in the US! We have our preparation system, our technique which we adhere to. It works well for me so we don’t change it much and just make adjustments to the different opponents we are facing.”
When asked about Agnew he added, “Agnew is an experienced boxer. He fought for the world title before against Sergey Kovalev. I have not faced opponents of his experience yet. I think he will stick to the same tactics that he usually does. He has been victorious in many fights using his counterpunching technique. I expect him to do the same with me. We will see what happens in the ring on fight night.”
Bivol’s trainer, Gennadii Mashyanov, said “Preparation to the fight goes in regular mode, I don’t like to give any predictions, so I can only tell that we are getting ready for the battle that fans and boxing experts will like.”