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  • May 15, 2021

Exclusive: Russian champion defends light-heavyweight title with points win on Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker undercard, despite valiant effort from British challenger

 Exclusive: Russian champion defends light-heavyweight title with points win on Derek Chisora vs Joseph Parker undercard, despite valiant effort from British challenger


Dmitry Bivol beat Craig Richards by unanimous decision to retain his WBA light-heavyweight world title on Saturday night in Manchester.

The fight was expected by many to be a simple night’s work for the champion when initially announced, but Richards put up a valiant effort.

Bivol was more accurate throughout

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Bivol was more accurate throughout

Bivol began the fight strongly and the difference in levels between the two men was evident early on.

He upped the tempo in the second and then pushed Richards back against the ropes, hammering him with a combination to end round three.

The Brit remained defensively solid and endured less punishment in the fourth.

In the middle rounds, the fight settled into a rhythm with Bivol in control.

Richards put in a valiant effort

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Richards put in a valiant effort

Richards was competitive throughout, but ultimately outclassed by the champion.

As they entered the final three rounds, the challenger took more risks as he attempted to go for broke.

In response, Bivol fired back and gave as good as he got up until the final bell.

When the scorecards were read out, the Russian retained his title with a unanimous decision win – 118-110, 115-113, 115-114.

Bivol won by unanimous decision

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Bivol won by unanimous decision

It was Bivol’s first fight back after 18 months of inactivity and so he was pleased with the performance.

He said post-fight: “The fight was really tough for me because he’s a smart boxer, he thinks all fight, he thinks what he will do.

“But after one-and-a-half years rest, I think it’s okay, it’s a normal performance for me.”





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