Dmitry Bivol predictably retained his WBA light heavyweight title tonight in Chicago, winning a near-shutout decision over 12 rounds against overmatched Lenin Castillo.
Bivol (17-0, 11 KO) has now gone the distance a fourth straight time, and probably didn’t win a whole lot of new fans with this performance. He did drop Castillo (20-3-1, 15 KO) in the sixth round on a well-timed counter right hand, but never really stepped on the gas or looked for a finish, mostly just outboxing Castillo and cruising to the win.
Scores were 119-108, 119-108, and 120-107 for Bivol. BLH had the fight 119-108 on two separate cards, both for Bivol.
To be fair to the 28-year-old Bivol, Castillo wasn’t exactly in there pressing the action, either. The 31-year-old Dominican seemed dead set on looking for spots to land an explosive counter, and they just didn’t come to him. Bivol’s technical superiority ruled the day.
“Maybe someone can say, ‘You’re a boring fighter,’ or something like this,” Bivol said, getting ahead of likely criticism. “But try to beat me. Try. Who wants to fight me? Who wants to try to beat me?”
Asked if he wishes he had gotten the stoppage, Bivol shrugged that off and said winning was most important.
“I keep my belt and I still have a chance to fight for another belt, to fight the winner of the Gvozdyk-Beterbiev fight or Canelo-Kovalev. I can fight them because I won today.”
According to CompuBox, Bivol landed 188 of 652 total punches, connecting at a 29% rate, compared to Castillo, who was 98 of 429 (23%).