Sullivan Barrera turned down a fight with Sergey Kovalev with the expectation that, as the WBA #2, he would be fighting #1 Dmitry Bivol for the then-vacant WBA title. Instead, Bivol took on Trent Broadhurst, leaving Barrera to face Felix Valera. Now, this wrong will be righted, as the sanctioning body has ordered Bivol to face Barrera by July 22nd.
Bivol (12-0, 10 KO) ate Broadhurst alive last month, stopping him in the first round for his fourth consecutive knockout. He turns 27 next week and looks for all the world like the division’s heir apparent.
Barrera (21-1, 14 KO) is easily his stiffest test to date, however, packing thudding power and the requisite Cuban technique to deliver it. His wins over Slava Shabranskyy and Joe Smith Jr. easily eclipse anything on Bivol’s résumé, but his tendency to get dropped early makes this a dangerous matchup.
Now that the Kovalev-Stevenson-Ward era is starting to slow, this could decide the future of the division. I’m game.