One of the best prospects in the sport returned to his finishing ways earlier as WBA Interim Light Heavyweight Champion Dmitry Bivol battered Robert Berridge into submission in Nizhny Tagil.
Bivol (9-0, 7 KO), who had gone the distance in his previous two fights, repeatedly punished Berridge (29-6-1, 21 KO) with tight punches, most notably a counter left hook he timed to perfection as Berridge dipped to his right. Though he ate regular right hands to the body and a counter left that seemed to buzz him in the third, his combinations were consistently devastating. He put Berridge down twice in that third round and once in the fourth before the referee stepped in due to a cut.
You can watch the whole fight here.
The win marked Bivol’s first defense of his title, which he won by defeating previously unbeaten Felix Valera last May. Nathan Cleverly currently holds the regular version, which could make for a fun fight if the WBA gets back to enforcing its unification program.
Bivol isn’t the sort of showstopper that Artur Beterbiev is and still has some of the issues Radu outlined, namely his head movement, but he is extremely effective and entertaining on the attack. I certainly hope to see more of him as the year progresses.