Bivol manager names list of potential opponents ahead of anticipated return

The manager of WBA world light-heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol has released a list of names he believes are realistic names for Bivol ahead of a growing anticipation for his return to the ring.

Bivol (21-0, 11Kos) has not fought following his comprehensive victory over Gilberto Ramirez in the UAE in November of 2022, boxing comfortably to a unanimous decision victory.

2022 had been a year for Bivol, which came with fanfare following his victory over undisputed super-middleweight title holder Canelo Alvarez in May of that year, causing a considerable betting upset with the odds-setters on the Vegas strip.

However, following victory over Ramirez, it has been a frustrating time for the WBA champion Bivol, who has been unable to land himself a lucrative rematch with Canelo alongside niggling injuries, which has seen Bivol sit out of the action for all of 2023, so far.

Vadim Kornilov, who manages Bivol, has spoken about the difficulties of finding an opponent for Bivol after seeing negotiations with Jamie Munguia and Lyndon Arthur failing to secure an agreement across all parties.

Kornilov continues to add that the main issue for Bivol’s absence is securing opponents who will get in the ring with the WBA champion but is aiming to secure a return for either late December or January 2024 for the Russian Bivol.

“The main problem really is the opponent, so that’s why there’s the whole holdup in trying to finalize this,” Kornilov told FightHubTV. “First, we spent a lot of time trying to make it work with Munguia. That went back and forth and there were issues on the weight and trying to work it. I understand for Munguia the only upside here for this fight is that they’re both on DAZN. Munguia’s another Mexican, he’s a tough guy, it’s a good fight, but other than that it’s hard to make it because he’s still coming up from 168 and we have to meet him either halfway or go down to 168 which may not be the right thing right now. So that has been holding things back a little bit.

“At this point we have Hot Rod—a guy from Florida, Radivoje Kalajdzic is his name. He’s a guy that fought [unified 175-pound champion Artur] Beterbiev before. There’s also discussions with Ronald Gavril, a guy that fought [168-pound contender David] Benavidez before. I don’t know where he’s at. Or how much he’s in the running. We added him to the list.

“I know there’s been discussion about Ahmed Elbiali and Lyndon Arthur was another guy we were trying to figure out if he would be interested.”

Ultimately, Kornilov is waiting for promoters Matchroom Boxing to filter out opponents and make a list of serious challengers who are willing to step through the ropes and fight for the WBA light-heavyweight championship.

“It just seems like most of these guys are a little bit in their comfort zones in a way, so I’m just waiting on Matchroom and the guys to see which guys are actually interested in the fight,” Kornilov said. “But that’s the bottom-down list right now.”