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.
FIGHT ADDED #BivolCastillo— Matchroom Boxing (@MatchroomBoxing) September 26, 2019
Dmitry Bivol will defend his WBA crown as part of our blockbuster Chicago show on Oct 12! #UsykSpong
@bivol_d vs @gilbertlenin
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.