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WBA ORDER DMITRY BIVOL VS. SULLIVAN BARRERA TITLE FIGHT

By Paul Magno | December 06, 2017
WBA ORDER DMITRY BIVOL VS. SULLIVAN BARRERA TITLE FIGHT

The WBA has named Sullivan Barrera (21-1, 14 KOs) as the mandatory challenger to new light heavyweight titlist Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) and has ordered the bout to take place no later than July 22 of 2018. 

Bivol, the well-regarded 26-year-old Russian, captured the recently vacated 175 lb. WBA title with a first round KO win over Australia’s Trent Broadhurst in November. Prior to that, Bivol had owned the WBA interim title, defending the belt twice after capturing it in May of 2016 against Felix Valera.

Barrera, meanwhile, has fought himself back up the ranks after being thoroughly outclassed by Andre Ward in his first main stage exposure in March of 2016. The 35-year-old Cuban has gone 4-0 since the Ward loss, notching solid victories over Joe Smith Jr. and Felix Valera in that run. 

The current plans are to air the Bivol-Barrera title fight on HBO as the chief support to a Sergey Kovalev main event. Presumably, the winners of both bouts would meet later in the year. 

Despite Kovalev’s consecutive losses to Andre Ward and then Ward’s subsequent retirement from the sport, as well as WBC titlist Adonis Stevenson’s chronic inactivity, the light heavyweight division remains one of the more interesting divisions in the sport, with a new crop of fighters looking to earn their way to the elite level of the division.

Aside from Bivol, Barrera, and a comeback-minded Kovalev, 175 also boasts young and hungry talents such as Badou Jack, Artur Beterbiev, Marcus Browne, and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.

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