Bivol manager admits securing an opponent has been difficult as ring absence continues

The manager of WBA world light-heavyweight champion

Dmitry Bivol

(21-0, 11KOs) has conceded that it has been difficult to lock down an opponent but remains hopeful for an October/November return to the ring.

Bivol is yet to fight since his comprehensive victory over former WBO world super-middleweight champion Gilberto Ramirez, which was held in Dubai in November of 2022. Bivol had a very successful 2022 career-best win over Canelo Alvarez in May and followed it up with a dominating victory over Ramirez, who was Bivol’s mandatory challenger.

There had been talk throughout the opening six months of 2023 of a rematch between Bivol and Canelo. However, financial terms and what weight category the rematch would take place in could not be agreed upon. Canelo would take a different route by facing John Ryder in May of this year in Mexico rather than rematching Bivol before ultimately splitting from Matchroom Boxing, who have fought under the Matchroom promotional banner recently.

Canelo would ultimately sign a three-fight deal with Premier Boxing Champions, with his first fight date under PBC coming on September 30th in Las Vegas against Jermell Charlo, and he will defend his undisputed super-middleweight title.

Vadim Kornilov, who manages Bivol, admitted that securing an opponent following unbeaten contenders Joshua Buatsi and Dan Azeez rejecting the proposal to face the unbeaten Russian champion has been challenging.

“The priority is to return to the ring in October or November. There is no confirmed date yet, and there are several reasons for this. The main one concerns the general will of our team, some circumstances.... it is difficult to find an opponent - but there are some developments, searches and the negotiations are ongoing,” Kornilov said to Ivan Orekhov.

“We have to look for any option, someone who would want to enter the ring and someone who the fans would want to see in the arena and on TV. There were few such options, like Dan Azeez and Joshua Buatsi, but both refused and decided to fight each other. In addition, there is also the fight with Jaime Mungia: Maybe we will circle back to this option [in the future] - we are currently searching, we are in the process of agreeing with someone and making sure that Dmitry returns to the ring as soon as possible. Right now, he is holding an intermediate training camp, preparing for the main camp to the fight.”