WBA Light Heavyweight World Champion Dmitry Bivol will make his third title defense against Isaac "Golden Boy" Chilemba as the co-main event of HBO’s Sergey "Krusher" Kovalev (32-2-1, 28 KO’s) vs. Eleider "Storm" Alvarez (23-0, 11 KO’s) card at the Atlantic City on Aug. 4.
St. Petersburg, Russia’s Bivol (13-0, 11 KO’s) has been receiving heavy amounts of promotion from HBO following his 12th round stoppage of Sullivan Barrera, a fighter who had never been stopped before despite facing the likes of Andre Ward. This will mark his third appearance on the network.
In Malawi’s Chilemba (25-5-2, 10 KO’s), Bivol will be facing a rugged veteran, who despite dropping three of his last four bouts has consistently faced top-tier competition like Kovalev (in Russia), Tony Bellew (in the UK) and Alvarez to whom he dropped a razor close decision that many feel he should have won. In his last fight, Chilemba traveled to Australia and defeated Blake Caparello in his own backyard. He is trained by legendary boxer and HBO commentator Roy Jones Jr.
Chilemba has never been stopped before, outside of having to retire with a right elbow injury against Oleksandr Gvozdyk. But Bivol has knocked out his last five opponents. Doing what Alvarez and Kovalev couldn’t would be a great feather for Bivol’s cap and provide his promoter, Andrei Ryabinsky of “World of Boxing”, an easy marketing campaign as the man who stops fighters that no one else can.
Should both Kovalev and Bivol win, a matchup between the two Russians would be an exciting one, but it is not clear that this is why they are both on the same card.