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15 NOVEMBER 2018

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Bivol Retains Title Via Decision

pics David Spagnolo/Main Events
pics David Spagnolo/Main Events

By Jason Pribila, Ringside – Atlantic City – Hard Rock Hotel and Casino: WBA Light Heavyweight titlist Dmiry Bivol (14-0, 11 KO) remained perfect as he out-pointed Isaac Chilemba (25-6-2, 10 KO) over 12 rounds on Saturday evening on the Kovalev Vs Alvarez undercard. Bivol was hoping to look impressive in order to entice the winner of the evening’s main event between Sergey Kovalev and Eleider Alvarez into a unification bout later this year.


Unfortunately for Bivol and the enthusiastic fans at the Hard Rock, he was in with an opponent that rarely allows anyone to look good. Chilemba, is a steady if unspectacular fighter who had previously shared the ring and went the distance against both participants in the evening’s main event, dropping decisions to both Kovalev and Alvarez.


Bivol was throwing punches with bad intentions early, and he raced out to an early lead on the scorecards. He was effective throwing a lead left, and ending his combinations with a straight right. He was controlling distance and walking Chilemba down without the benefit of using his jab. Chilemba seemed to feel his power early, and immediately went into survival mode.


Bivol slowed down in the middle rounds. He threw single punches sparingly and allowed Chilemba to have moments as he began to double up on his own jab.


With the crowd beginning to get restless, Bivol remembered to throw power punches over the final rounds to leave no doubt when the fight went to the scorecards.


All three judges favored Bivol and they handed in official scores of: 120-108, 120-108, 116-112. had the fight for Bivol by a score of 118-110.


Prior to this fight, promoter Kathy Duva was quoted saying that it was tough finding opponents willing to face Bivol even though he owns a title. This performance may not have raised his profile enough for American fight fans to declare him must-see TV, but with Main Events handling his US promotion, making a match with the winner of Kovalev-Alvarez would be the easiest unification bout to make.


As for Chilemba, he went the distance, but at this point he should no longer be taking part in televised cards.


Jason Pribila is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. He could be reached at and followed on @PribsBoxing

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