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Dmitry Bivol ready to defend title against Sullivan Barrera

Bivol says he’s prepared to make a tough first defense of his world title.

Dmitry Bivol v Cedric Agnew Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

WBA light heavyweight titleholder Dmitry Bivol (12-0, 10 KOs) may not have earned his belt the hard way, but he’s ready to defend it as such. Bivol was literally handed the ‘World’ WBA title once Andre Ward recently retired, and has since made what turned out to be a voluntary defense against Trent Broadhurst earlier this month.

That fight turned out to be a first round drubbing of Broadhurst, but now Bivol tells Sky Sports that he’s ready to make his first mandatory title defense against Sullivan Barrera, who just won on HBO this past weekend, in what would be a much stiffer test.

"It depends how negotiations go but I want to fight him," Bivol told Sky Sports.

"He didn't look good against Andre Ward, but we know Ward is the sort of fighter that it is extremely hard to look good against.

"Ward didn't make the contest exciting but he still made Barrera fight his fight. We saw that against Kovalev who is one of the best in the division and even he couldn't be the way he usually is.”

After crediting Barrera as being a solid all-around boxer with some pop in his punches, Bivol also reaffirmed his willingness to also throw down with fellow titlist Sergey Kovalev, although he says his goal is to be the best fighter in the world, not simply the best fighter coming out of Russia.