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Dmitry Bivol-Lenin Castillo set for October 12th Usyk-Spong undercard

Bivol has not fought since defeating Joe Smith Jr. in March

Dmitry Bivol v Isaac Chilemba Photo by Elsa/Getty Images
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

WBA light heavyweight champion Dmitry Bivol finally has an opponent for his appearance on the October 12th Oleksandr Usyk-Tyrone Spong undercard: the Dominican Republic’s Lenin Castillo.

Castillo (20-2-1, 15 KO) is not ranked by the sanctioning body and has done little to deserve a shot at the title. His only truly notable fight to date came against Marcus Browne, who beat him by unanimous decision on the 2018 Devon Alexander-Andre Berto undercard. His biggest win saw him knock out Aaron Mitchell four fights prior.

In Bivol’s (16-0, 11 KO) defense, I’m pretty sure the original plan was to have him fight Browne, who beat Badou Jack for the interim belt in January. Then Browne went and lost his title last month to Jean Pascal, whom Bivol had outclassed nine months prior. The other highest-ranked contenders are Felix Valera, Joshua Buatsi, and Dominic Boesel. Buatsi’d be a nice fight, but we’re a ways away from his handlers accepting something like this.

Even giving him the benefit of the doubt, though, it’s a deeply disappointment matchup, especially when compared to what the other champions are doing. Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Artur Beterbiev are set to duke it out in a unification match on October 18th and Sergey Kovalev has Canelo Alvarez to deal with on November 2nd. We can only hope the ultra-talented Bivol gets to prove his mettle against other world-class opponents sooner rather than later.

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