Dmitry Bivol: Victory over Canelo Alvarez was beginning, not end

Dmitry Bivol has no plans to slow down.

The last time we saw him in the ring, this past May in Las Vegas, the skillful 175-pound titleholder stunned the boxing world by taking down consensus pound-for-pound king Canelo Alvarez by a unanimous decision.

He’s now considered one of the best fighters pound-for-pound, No. 6 on Boxing Junkie’s list. And, he said, he’s just getting started.

Bivol (20-0, 11 KOs) is scheduled to defend his belt against unbeaten Gilberto Ramirez at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (DAZN).

“I really had a big dream to win this belt, and I don’t want to leave it,” said Bivol, who is scheduled to defend it against Gilberto Ramirez on Saturday in the United Arab Emirates (DAZN)..

“I will fight for this and I want to keep it. I want more. I feel I have something inside of me which I need to realize so I can be happy at the end of my career.”

He went on: “When people tell me that I have achieved everything it’s like they pour water on my fire. I try to only think about my dream, to realize my full potential. I try to be hungry and angry every time and be focused on training and my opponents.

“I try to think about how this Saturday night will be the hardest fight of my career. It makes me more focused on the night.”

Bivol, 31, has always been highly regarded. The native of Kyrgyzstan and resident of Las Vegas was a top amateur in the Russian system – reportedly finishing that part of his career with a record of 268-15 – before turning professional in 2014.

And he has enjoyed nothing but success as a pro, including consecutive victories over Sullivan Barrera, Isaac Chilemba, Jean Pascal and Joe Smith Jr. in 2018-19 that established his credentials as a major talent.

He had held the WBA’s “regular” title (which Boxing Junkie doesn’t recognize) since 2017 but he was upgraded to “super champion” in 2019. Then, after a series of nondescript fights, he upset Alvarez.

If he can get past Ramirez (44-0, 30 KOs), his next big fight could be a meeting with Artur Beterbiev for the undisputed championship or possibly a rematch with Alvarez.

“Any fighter has to go through a very long road to get to the top,” said Vadim Kornilov, Bivol’s manager. “As a team, it has been part of our strategy to make sure that we look at the end goal, and we don’t look at every point along the way.

“It’s kind of having a vision of what is at the end.”

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Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie